Electricity is all around us and sometimes it’s in the unlikeliest of places. Keep yourself safe from electric shocks. While it may require more planning, it will keep you alive. Electricity can be deadly. Be safe NOTL.
If you Crash into an Electricity Pole
This happens more than you think. If you are the driver or passenger of a car that hits an electric pole STAY IN THE VEHICLE. Turn off the car, call 911, and wait for emergency responders to arrive and confirm it’s safe to leave. If a live wire is touching your vehicle, it is grounded by the vehicle.
In the event that your vehicle catches on fire and you must leave then it’s not as simple as opening the door and running out. When a wire is touching the vehicle it is imperative that when leaving that you JUMP from the vehicle (feet together) ensuring that you are not touching any part of it when you touch the ground. If you’re touching ground and the vehicle at the same time you’re closing a circuit and risk your life.
When to Call for Locates
Any time you need to dig around your house and especially in the front yard you should contact ONTARIO ONE CALL to get a locate. You can protect yourself from harm but also can avoid disrupting your water, telephone, internet and other services to your home. Locate requests are free. Call toll-free 1-800-400-2255 or submit a request online.
Common projects that should get locates include:
- Planting & Maintaining Trees – While a 6ft tree may not seem imposing when you plant it, it may grow to be over 40ft tall and 30ft wide and pose a threat to the electric grid. Here are several handbooks on dealing with planting and trimming your trees; Planting a Tree and Trimming a Tree
- Installing a Deck
- Weeping Tile Installations and Repair
Overhead Power Lines
Power lines are often misidentified as communications lines which can be deadly. Here are some tips when dealing with overhead power lines:
- Never touch (directly or indirectly) an overhead power line. Even if it has fallen to the ground, it might be live.
- Maintain a distance of at least 10-20ft from a power line when using a ladder, cleaning windows/eaves or tree trimming.
- Stay at least 33ft away from a downed power line.
- If you’re in a vehicle accident and a power line falls on your vehicle. Stay in the vehicle until crews can deactivate the line. Never leave the vehicle.
Ground Mounted Transformers
- Do not cover transformers or plant anything around them. Having them open and accessible for service will protect hydro linemen.
- If you ever hear a loud bang from one of these, call 905-468-4235 and stay away from the transformer.
Holiday Safety (Winter)
The winter holiday season has it’s unique set of obstacles when dealing with electrical safety. Stay safe during the season with these tips:
- Use the right type of light. Some lights are rated only for indoor use so don’t use them outside. Same goes with extension cords.
- Replace damaged light strings and cords.
- Ensure your outside power outlets are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI). They are like mini breakers that will turn off the power in the event of a short to prevent fire and potentially save your life.
- Never remove the third prong (ground) in a plug. This helps prevent shocks.
- Read the manufactures instructions to confirm how many light strings can be connected in series.
- Never staple cords. The staples could damage the cord and become a fire hazard.
- Most holiday outdoor lighting isn’t suitable for year-round use. Read the products instructions.
- If you have a natural tree, ensure it’s watered. A dry tree is more dangerous due to potential fire.
- Ensure empty sockets are replaced with bulbs. A child or pet could stick something in it or put it in their mouth causing a shock.
- Turn off your tree lights when you go to bed or leave your home. Never leave unattended.
- Avoid overloading your outlets. What happens when you don’t?