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Powerline Safety At Home

The Real Danger of Powerlines

The dangers of coming into contact with overhead powerlines can be instant and lethal. Respect the power by using common sense and exercising precautions when working around powerlines. What can you do?


8 Essential Powerline Safety Tips


  1. LOCATE POWERLINES. Before you start any yard work or home maintenance outside, locate powerlines when doing any yard work. Be especially aware of powerlines that may be hidden by trees.
  2. STAY BACK 3 METRES. You don’t have to touch a powerline to receive a deadly shock. Electricity can jump or “arc” to you or your tools if you get too close. Have someone who can watch to make sure you stay at least three metres (10 feet) back from powerlines.
  3. CARRY LADDERS HORIZONTALLY.Never carry ladders vertically as they may come in contact or close to powerlines. Check for overhead powerlines before standing a ladder up.
  4. 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.
  5. CALL OR CLICK BEFORE YOU DIG. Powerlines can sometimes be buried underground. Before you start construction on a deck, fence or other landscaping project, contact Ontario One Call to locate all utility-owned underground infrastructure including natural gas, communications and power lines, and water and wastewater pipes. 
  6. PLANT TREES AWAY FROM OVERHEAD POWERLINES. Avoid the problem now, before trees grow up into the powerlines. If your trees have grown into the powerlines, contact your local utility or a utility arborist. Do not trim trees around powerlines yourself. More tree trimming and landscaping tips here.
  7. WATCH FOR DOWNED POWERLINES. If you see one, stay back 10 metres (33 feet), the length of a school bus, and call 911 and the Local Distribution Company immediately.
  8. TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT POWERLINE SAFETY. Help them find safe places to play, away from utility poles and powerlines. Remind children never to climb trees near powerlines and make sure they take a close look since leaves and branches can hide the wires. The green boxes on lawns or in parks are also off-limits.

pool installations

Video: #RespectThePower at Home

Powerlines are unforgiving and lethal. A simple chore of removing leaves from an eavestrough turns into a life-changing event. This video shows the true power of powerlines, and the devastating consequences of coming into contact with them.


Video: How dangerous are overhead power lines?

Lucky the Squirrel learns the hard way how dangerous overhead power lines can be.


Maintaining the Electrical Equipment on Your Property

If you have an overhead powerline on your property, you may own the assets. You are legally responsible to maintain the electrical equipment on your property – such as poles and overhead wires – in a safe manner and in compliance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.

Privately-Owned Powerline Assets - Know Your Responsibilities


Powerline Safety at Work

If you work on construction sites, outside or above ground, visit the Powerline Safety at Work section.