Did a squirrel turn your lights out?

Nobody likes being kept in the dark, especially when the power is out.  

But did you know that outages caused by squirrels are one of the most common and widespread causes? These cute little critters are able to tunnel under decks and fences, climb trees and power poles, to eventually damage power lines and wires by biting them. In addition to the real outages they cause, those that do take above-ground routes trigger many false alarms to our grid.

While squirrels are particularly pesky, power outages can happen for several other reasons. Here are the eight most common causes our crews tackle each year:

  1.     Environmental stress, from road salt, humidity, corrosion, vibration, fire, or flooding
  2.     Extreme weather, such as unusual rain, ice, snow, or wind storms
  3.     Equipment failure, due to older equipment and infrastructure 
  4.     Interference by animals, vehicle collisions with poles, or even vandalism
  5.     Lightning strikes, even during normal stormy weather 
  6.     Loss of supply from the provincial grid
  7.     Scheduled outages, which are required for maintenance of the system
  8.     Contact with trees that grow into wires

Utility crews, in cities around the world, are constantly working to prevent unplanned outages. When they do occur, whole teams of specialists are engaged in understanding the root cause, restoring power as quickly and safely as possible, and keeping customers informed.

Help us stay on top of unplanned outages by reporting power interruptions. But first, check the outage map on our website to see if there are any known outages in your area. 

Even more importantly, learn how to prepare for an outage, as well as how to respond to one safely. You can also help your kids learn about electricity safety so they can become as Smart as a Fox.