BE SAFE: Toronto Hydro reminds the public to be aware of electrical hazards on the street and around the home this winter

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited (Toronto Hydro) is launching its annual "Be Safe" campaign to remind the public to stay safe around all outdoor electrical equipment. Whether customers are walking pets, cleaning out eaves troughs, trimming a tree, or hanging up lights in preparation for the Holidays, Toronto Hydro wants to remind people of the risks involved. According to the Electrical Safety Authority, contact with power lines account for 11 per cent of consumer (non-electrical worker) electrocutions.

Through the "Be Safe" campaign, Toronto Hydro continues to remind people about:

Contact Voltage

Contact voltage is an intermittent condition that exists when electricity or voltage is present on street equipment such as sidewalk handwells or hydro pole plate covers. It is more likely to be present during wet, icy and salty conditions.  Freezing and thawing can cause underground wires and connections to shift, thereby disturbing wiring and creating conditions where short circuits and contact voltage can occur.

As we head into the winter season, Toronto Hydro wants pedestrians to be aware of, and report contact voltage to the utility at its dedicated contact voltage hotline at 416.222.3773.  This initiative is part of the overall contact voltage remediation strategy, which includes proactive maintenance, street scanning and replacing handwell lids with non-conductive covers.

When possible, pedestrians and their pets should avoid contact with electrical equipment like streetlight poles and handwells. Pedestrians should always be aware of electrical fixtures including signage and lighting.

Look Up, Look Down
Pedestrians and workers should always be aware of their surroundings and of the location of power lines. When planning home improvement projects that involve excavation work, please call the underground service locators to have Toronto Hydro identify and mark any underground power lines. Every time you dig, you run the risk of hitting cable, phone gas lines or electrical wires.

Everyone should look up. Wires connecting a customer's house to the main electricity lines can sometimes droop, making it easier for contact to be made with overhead power lines. For example, if a person is carrying an aluminum ladder outdoors, Toronto Hydro cautions that it will act as a conductor if it makes contact with power lines.  Always carry a ladder horizontally. Contact with a live wire can cause severe injury.

Keep Back, Know Your Limits
Always stay back at least 20 ft. from all power lines -- both exposed underground power lines and overhead wires. To report a wire down, call Toronto Hydro at (416) 542-8000. And, if overgrown trees are in close proximity to a power line, Forestry crews at Toronto Hydro are trained to prune around power lines on private property; there is no cost for this service if the tree is too close to our high voltage equipment. Call Toronto Hydro's Forestry department at (416) 542-7800.


  • Customer Care, Emergencies and Power Outages: (416) 542-8000, press #1

  • Forestry: (416) 542-7800

  • Call before you dig: (416) 542-3344 (former East York,  North York, Scarborough); (905)709-1717 (former Etobicoke, downtown Toronto)

For more information or to learn more about electrical safety, please visit

About Toronto Hydro

The principal business of the Corporation and its subsidiaries is the distribution of electricity by Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited. Toronto Hydro-Electric System owns and operates an electricity distribution system, which delivers electricity to approximately 705,000 customers located in the City of Toronto.  It is the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada and distributes approximately 19% of the electricity consumed in Ontario.

The information in these materials is based on information currently available to Toronto Hydro Corporation and its affiliates (together hereinafter referred to as "Toronto Hydro"), and is provided for information purposes only. Toronto Hydro does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the information and undertakes no obligation to revise or update these materials. Toronto Hydro (including its directors, officers, employees, agents and subcontractors) hereby waives any and all liability for damages of whatever kind and nature which may occur or be suffered as a result of the use of these materials or reliance on the information therein.

Toronto Hydro is pleased to announce we are officially on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube! Follow us for the latest on energy conservation, tips on how to take advantage of your time-of-use rates and updates on power outages.

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Image with caption: "Toronto Hydro's BE SAFE Campaign. (CNW Group/Toronto Hydro Corporation)". Image available at:

SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation

For further information:

Media contact:

Tanya Bruckmueller, Toronto Hydro-Electric System
W: 416-542-2621

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