In Home Safety
We use electricity every day. Electricity heats and cools our homes, powers entertainment devices, refrigerates and cooks our food and provides lighting. Electricity is incredibly useful but it can be dangerous. Keep informed on how to keep you and your family safe at home visit the Electrical Safety Authority to learn more.
Power Outage Safety
It is important to keep electrical safety in mind even during a power outage. For more information on how to stay safe during an outage click here.
Powerline Safety at Home
There are dangers associated with coming in contact with overhead powerlines and other distribution equipment. The effects can be instant and deadly. The Electrical Safety Authority has eight safety tips to stay safe around power lines.
8 Essential Powerline Safety Tips
- LOCATE POWERLINES.
Before you start any yard work or outdoor home maintenance, locate powerlines. Be especially aware of powerlines that may be hidden by trees.
- STAY BACK 3 METRES.
You don’t have to touch a powerline 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 powerlines.
- CARRY LADDERS SIDEWAYS.
Never carry ladders upright as they may come in contact or close to powerlines. Check for overhead powerlines before standing a ladder up.
- STAY AWAY FROM DANGEROUS AREAS.
Keep away from electrical transmission and distribution lines, and never climb utility poles. If a toy ends up inside a transformer station, call the Local Distribution Company. Don’t try to retrieve it yourself.
- CALL OR CLICK BEFORE YOU DIG.
Powerlines 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 FROM OVERHEAD POWERLINES.
Avoid the problem now, before trees grow up into the powerlines. If your trees have already grown into the powerlines, contact your local utility or a utility arborist. Do not prune trees around powerlines yourself. More tree pruning and landscaping tips here.
- WATCH FOR DOWNED POWERLINES.
If you see one, stay back about the length of a school bus (10 metres or 33 feet). Call 9-1-1 and the Local Distribution Company immediately.
- TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT POWERLINE SAFETY.
Help children find safe places to play, away from utility poles and powerlines. Remind children never to climb trees near powerlines. Make sure they look closely, since leaves and branches can hide the wires. The green boxes on lawns or in parks are also off-limits.
How Power is Restored
System damage can happen on different areas of an electrical system that can impact the number of outages and the time it takes to restore power. Below is an infographic provided by the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) displaying the diverse areas of an electrical distribution system where damage can occur.
During unusual or extreme weather conditions multiple areas of a system can be impacted simultaneously. Local Utilities work together to ensure power is restored as soon as possible - volume and weather severity can impact the speed of repairs.
Kids - Electricity Safety
Here are 7 simple fixes from the Electrical Safety Authority to make your home a safezone for you and your kids.
- If your outlet has a missing or broken cover plate, replace it immediately. Outlet covers create a barrier between people and exposed wires.
- Install tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles to protect younger children from shocks. They have special shutters that cover the plug slots and help prevent little fingers or objects from going into the outlet.
- Small kids often want to explore new things by putting them in their mouths. Keep cords away from little hands and mouths.
- Teach older children how to plug in and unplug safely. Never overload outlets by plugging in too many cords. Use an approved power bar that has surge protection instead. When it's time to unplug, don't yank cords from the wall. This can damage the appliance, the cord and the outlet.
- Check all of your cords. If a cord is frayed, replace it. Tape won't protect anyone from a shock. Extension cords - which should only be used temporarily - are prone to cracking and fraying, which can lead to a shock or fire.
- Water and electricity can be a lethal mix. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) - the ones with the reset button - in any room with water (i.e. bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms) to help protect from a shock.
- If you have electrical work that needs to be done in your home, hire only a Licensed Electrical Contractor for the work.
For more helpful tips on electrical safety visit the Electrical Safety Authority https://esasafe.com/safety/.