By educating yourself on safe power practices at home, school, work or on the road, you will better prepare yourself to respond to electrical emergencies and help protect those around you. Please remember the following safety tips to prevent power related incidents from happening to you.
Household and Workplace Safety Tips
- Do not overload electrical outlets. This could cause a short circuit and possibly a fire.
- Ensure that the protective layer on all cords are free of cracks and damage. The outer coating on cords acts as protective layer to avoid contact with the bare wires which can electrocute you.
- Never remove the third prong from an electrical cord. The third prong is designed to ground the tool or appliance in order for you to use the product safely.
- Never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn’t fit.
- Pull the plug of an electrical appliance to remove it from an outlet, rather than tugging on the cord.
- Use a surge protector to protect electronic equipment.
- Hire a qualified electrician to complete electrical upgrades and repairs.
- Buy tools and household appliances that are approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or another accredited association.
- Never use electrical appliances and tools near water.
- Unplug a toaster before trying to get toast that is wedged in.
Meter Safety Tips
QEC employees visit a multitude of businesses and residential customers on a regular basis. In order to accurately read electricity meters, perform necessary maintenance on power equipment and provide other QEC services, we ask the public for their assistance in keeping their home environments safe. By making your yard safe for QEC employees, you make it safe for yourself, family and friends.
- Clear obstructions around meters. This includes tools, equipment, and snow and ice buildup. If conductive materials become buried underneath the snow these items are potentially dangerous, especially if they cross the pathways to the meter.
- Ensure a clear path to the meter. Remove snow from stairs and overhead hanging ice buildup. If meter is located indoors, pathway to the meter should be clear of debris and clutter.
- Detain your dog. Your dog, no matter how friendly it may seem, needs to be leashed, detained or otherwise kept away when a QEC employee is on the premises. Even friendly dogs can become aggressive if they feel their territory is threatened. Leash the dog away from the meter if a QEC employee is in your yard to allow safe access to the meter. Please place your dog behind closed doors if a QEC employee requires indoor access to read the meter.
- Dogs are also not permitted to be leashed or tied to power poles. It compromises the safety of QEC employees and will have an impact on safe and timely response to power line emergencies.
Work Site Safety Tips
Power line safety is everyone’s responsibility. The majority of power line contacts happen at construction sites and are often preventable. Be conscious of your surroundings and take precautions when using dump trucks and high reach vehicles like cranes, telehandlers, loaders, backhoes, boom trucks and scissor lifts.
QEC requires advanced notice if your project involves working within 3 metres (10 feet) of a power line and when your project requires a connection.
Please ensure QEC is fully informed of:
- Project start and end dates
- Project locations
- Any changes to project plans
To download our work site safety brochure, please click here.
Vehicle Accidents Involving Power Lines
If You See a Power Line Accident
For a vehicle accident involving a power pole or power lines, always be safe and assume the vehicles involved are carrying electricity. Fallen or broken power lines can still be energized even if they don’t appear to be. Call your local emergency services if you see downed power lines.
Vehicle Safety Tips
If you are in a motor vehicle accident involving power equipment like damaged power poles or downed power lines, always assume that the vehicle is energized with electricity even if it’s not sparking, smoking or buzzing.
If you are outside the vehicle
- Stay at least 10m (33ft) or the length of a school bus away from the accident.
- Tell anyone in the vehicle to stay where they are.
- Keep children and pets away from the accident.
- Call the RCMP and the QEC 24 Hour Emergency Line at 1-867-222-3807.
- When QEC employees arrive, they will isolate and ground the damaged equipment to make it safe to remove the vehicle and passengers.
If you are inside the vehicle
Safely drive out from under the power line or away from the source of electricity if you can. Ensure you are a bus length away (about 10m or 33ft) from the accident before stopping.
If you cannot safely drive the vehicle, stay where you are until help arrives.
To download our safety brochure, please click here.