Safety Outside the Home | Hydro Ottawa

Safety Outside the Home

Know Safety,

No Accidents

Electricity-related accidents can happen in unexpected ways, sometimes even becoming fatal. Learn how to stay safe around your home and in your community.

Electricity is an incredibly useful, yet dangerous element that we interact with every day. Hazards can be difficult to spot, especially outdoors where we’re often preoccupied by tasks and other activities. Nonetheless, it’s important to take precautions and to follow safety best practices so that injuries – or worse – can be avoided.

Equipment Safety

Here are four ways you can protect yourself and others from harm:

Call or click before you dig

Many properties have power lines buried beneath them, and if contacted by a shovel or piece of machinery, could have life-altering consequences. Before you plant a tree, install a fence, or do any excavating, be sure to contact Ontario One Call who will ensure all utilities are located before you break ground. It’s not only free, it’s the law!

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Be mindful of overhead power lines

You do not need to be touching a power line to be electrocuted. Electricity can arc through the air to you or a tool you are holding, causing a potentially fatal shock. To stay safe, keep yourself, tools, toys, and trees a minimum of three to six metres away from wires at all times.

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Stay away from downed power lines

Storms, ice, equipment failure, and accidents can all cause downed power lines. If you spot one, assume it is live, stay 10 metres away, and call us (or 9-1-1) to report the issue.

If your vehicle comes into contact with a downed power line, remain inside for a natural ground and call 9-1-1. If you MUST exit the vehicle, bunny hop out of it – landing on both feet – and shuffle 10 metres away keeping both feet in contact with the ground at all times. Be careful not to touch the vehicle and ground at the same time.

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Bypass neighbourhood electrical equipment

Throughout your neighbourhood, you’re likely to spot substations, hydro poles and pad mounted transformers – locked green metal cabinets – that contain high voltage electrical equipment. Remember to never climb, sit on, or tamper with this equipment which can pose a threat to your safety.

If there is a pad-mount transformer on your property, please maintain a clear path around the unit, and be sure not to obstruct the front of the transformer to ensure the safety of our crews who may need to access the transformer for maintenance or outage restoration.

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