Power Line Safety

Over the past decade, nearly 30 Ontarians have dies due to contact with overhead power lines - and sadly most of those deaths could have been prevented. Power line safety week reminds us to look up, look out and locate power lines to avoid any potential hazards.

With warmer weather comes many outdoor projects - decks, fences, eaves trough cleaning or tree trimming. Customers undertaking home improvement projects need to ensure they are aware of power line hazards overhead and underground.

Take our Power Line Safety Quiz to test your knowledge, then read our tips below to keep you and your family safe at home, in your community and at work.

At home:

  • Look out for overhead power lines, stay away from them when cleaning eaves troughs or pruning trees;
  • Carry ladders horizontally, never vertically, and check for overhead power lines before putting them up;
  • When digging in your yard or for fence posts or deck supports, call Ontario One Call to mark underground cables;
  • Always stay at least 3 metres away from any overhead power line and 4.5 metres away from tower lines.

In your community:

  • Never play with or around power lines or other electrical equipment
  • If you ever see a downed power line, stay at least 10 metres back and call 911 immediately; and
  • Should a power line fall on your vehicle, stay inside until help arrives. Only get out of your car if there is a fire hazard. If you must exit, jump clear of car - careful not to touch any of the metal frame- with both feet hitting the ground at the same time and shuffle away with your feet always touching the ground.

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.

For more information on power line safety, visit the Electrical Safety Authority's website.