When the wind howls, trees can come down and bring power lines with them. (Lexi Bainas/News Staff)

VIDEO: Tips to stay safe around downed, damaged power lines

‘Always treat the line as though it’s still energized,’ advises BC Hydro

The potential for downed power lines rises with wind warnings issued Friday across the B.C. south coast.

The first thing to do after coming across a downed or damaged power line is call 911, said Ted Olynyk, BC Hydro community relations manager.

The advice is simple: “down, danger, dial.” Anyone who comes across a downed or damaged line should stay back and call 911 right away – even if the danger isn’t obvious. It’s better to be safe and let emergency crews access the area, Olynyk said.

READ ALSO: Much of B.C. under weather warnings as winter storm touches down on south coast

“Always treat the line as though it’s still energized,” he said.

After calling 911, people can call and let BC Hydro know what’s going on, but emergency crews will alert the electrical company themselves, he noted.

An electrical line doesn’t have to be fully down to require a 911 call. Whether a tree has fallen on a line, a cross-arm is broken, a power pole is leaning over or a line is sagging or dangling on the ground, there is a risk.

READ ALSO: Multiple municipalities warn of downed power lines

Olynyk noted the importance of staying at least 10 metres – or the length of a city bus – away from a downed line as it could still be energized or “back-feeding” into the system due to something like an improperly wired generator. Anyone closer than 10 metres to a downed line should shuffle, not walk, away, Olynyk said. Keeping both feet on the ground reduces risk of electrocution.

If someone in a vehicle spots a downed line or collides with a pole, it’s best to stay in the car if it’s safe, Olynyk explained. If there’s no imminent danger, try to drive at least 10 metres away then call 911. If it’s necessary to leave the vehicle, jump out without touching the car and make sure to land on both feet.

Downed lines are more common in the fall and winter as wind storms can cause branches and debris to damage electrical infrastructure. BC Hydro asks that everyone be extra vigilant in the stormy months.

Olynyk recommends residents visit the BC Hydro website for more tips and safety recommendations.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Homemade explosives detonated in South Surrey

Police asking public for help identifying those responsible

White Rock highrise on hold after workers exhibit ‘severe’ overexposure symptoms

WorkSafeBC issued stop-work order at 1588 Johnston Rd. site on July 24

More than 50,000 checks: Surrey COVID-19 compliance, enforcement team’s role has ‘evolved’

Joint bylaw, RCMP team created to help with coronavirus education, support

White Rock’s top cop calls for ‘healthcare led intervention model’

Review aims for better understanding of crime related to mental health, substance use

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

B.C.’s fuel suppliers to publish prices to provide accountability: minister

Bruce Ralston says move will ensure industry publicly accountable for unexplained prices increases

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Missed rent payments because of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Most Read