SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – PUC is reminding residents and professionals to avoid potentially fatal electrical contact incidents by taking the proper precautions around live power lines, transformers and substations. PUC strongly advises that community members do NOT go near and/or tamper with any electrical equipment for any reason.
Power lines and high voltage energized equipment pose a real and dangerous threat to your safety; every year people are killed or critically injured due to preventable situations.
Some jobs around your workplace or home may take you close to power lines, such as trimming trees, working on your roof, or doing exterior renovations. Getting too close to a power line could cause a severe shock, burn or even death.
Keep yourself and your equipment at least three metres from overhead distribution power lines and six metres from high-voltage transmission lines at all times. If you come across any downed or damaged power lines, assume they are energized and stay at least 10 metres away. Do not take a chance with your life or those of your family or fellow community members.
PUC advises anyone who is undertaking jobs within close proximity (three metres or less) to powerlines to call PUC in advance. We can help to provide a hazard assessment, discuss hazards and barriers with you and perform a disconnection of electrical supply, if required.
Additionally, if you see anyone who is not a PUC employee entering a substation or tampering with equipment, please contact 9-1-1 and PUC immediately at 705-759-6522 or 705-759-6555 for after hours.
Below are some important power line safety tips from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA):
- Locate power lines a. Before you start any yard work our outdoor home maintenance, locate power lines. Be especially aware of powerlines that may be hidden by trees.
- Assume that downed power lines are live during motor vehicle accidents. a. If you can safety drive out from under the line or away from the source of electricity, do so and travel at least three metres away. b. If you are unable to drive the vehicle for any reason, stay where you are until help arrives.
- Stay back 3 Metres a. You don’t have to touch a power line to get a deadly shock. Electricity can jump or “arc” to you or your tools if you get too close. Have someone watch to make sure you stay at least three metres (10 feet) back from power lines.
- Carry ladders sideways b. Never carry ladders upright as they may come in contact or close to power lines. Check for overhead powerlines before standing a ladder up.
- Stay away from dangerous areas c. Keep away from electrical transmission and distribution lines, and never climb utility poles. If a toy ends up inside a transformer station, call PUC. Don’t try to retrieve it yourself.
- Call or click before you dig d. Power lines are sometimes buried underground. Before you start construction on a deck, fence or other landscaping project, contact Ontario One Call. Ask to locate all utility-owned underground infrastructure. This includes natural gas, communications and power lines, and water and wastewater pipes. Private underground powerlines such as supply to a pool or separate garage is not located by the utility.
- Plant trees away form overhead power lines e. Avoid the problem now, before trees grow up into power lines. If your trees have already grown into power lines, contact PUC. Do not prune trees around power lines yourself.
- Watch for downed power lines f. If you see one, stay back about the length of a school bus (10 metres or 33 feet). Call 9-1-1 and PUC immediately at 705-759-6522 or 705-759-6555 for after hours.