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Guelph Hydro Reminds Residents of Power Line Safety

Web posted on May 14, 2015

GUELPH (May 14, 2015) - Warmer weather means many people are planning outdoor projects building decks, installing fences, cleaning eavestroughs, or trimming trees. Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. remind customers who are undertaking home improvement projects to be aware of the hazards posed by overhead or underground electrical wires and cables.

May 11 to 16 is Powerline Safety Week, hosted by the Electrical Safety Authority. Over the past decade, 28 Ontarians have been killed after coming into contact with live power lines - and, sadly, most of those deaths could have been prevented. Powerline Safety Week reminds us to look up, look out and locate overhead and underground power lines to avoid potential hazards.

Here are some tips to help you and your family stay safe at home, in your community and at work:

At home:

  • Look out for power lines when cleaning eavestroughs or pruning trees;

  • Keep ladders and tools at least 10 metres away from overhead wires;

  • Carry ladders horizontally, never vertically, and check for overhead electrical wires before putting them up; and

  • There are just as many hazards underground as there are overhead. Before digging in your yard to plant trees or install fence posts or deck supports, contact Ontario One Call at 1.800.400.2255 or for a free locate to mark underground cables.

In your community:

  • Never play with or around power lines or other electrical equipment;

  • If you see a downed power line, keep people and pets at least 20 metres away, call 911 immediately and notify your hydro utility; and

  • Should a power line fall on your vehicle, stay inside until help arrives. Do not get out of your vehicle, unless there is imminent danger such as fire. Do not touch any object within the vehicle that may conduct electricity.
    If you must exit your vehicle, jump out of the car landing with both feet touching and shuffle away with both feet touching the ground. Do not touch any part of the vehicle when you jump clear as it may be energized.

At work:

  • Construction sites should always have a signaller to make sure heavy equipment, including dump trucks and cranes, are well away from power lines;

  • Remove or prepare for hazards before beginning any job by conducting a hazard assessment of the site;

  • Manage worksites carefully, with pre-work checklists for workers on roofs, scaffolding or any other aerial work; and

  • When using any equipment, not only heavy machinery, but also things like ladders, be aware of power lines and stay clear of them.

About Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.
Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. delivers a safe and reliable supply of electricity to more than 53,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Guelph and Rockwood. The company is owned by Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. which is, in turn, owned by the City of Guelph.