Powerline Safety

Image of an accident involving a powerline and someone working at home


Outdoor work is rewarding, but it can also be deadly. Before you start any outdoor work, locate all overhead powerlines. Be especially aware of powerlines that may be hidden by trees.

As the weather begins to warm up, now is the perfect time to remind our customers of the dangers of overhead powerlines. If you are planning to do some work around your home this spring, remember to look up, and look out to help keep you and your family safe.

We would also like to share with you the following tips and tools to help you avoid the dangers of overhead powerlines:

  • Distractions can be deadly. Outdoor work is rewarding, but it can also be deadly. Before you start any outdoor work, locate powerlines. Be especially aware of powerlines that may be hidden by trees.

  • Stop, look, live. Always be aware of your surroundings. You do not have to touch a powerline to get a deadly shock. Electricity can jump or “arc” to you or your tools if you get too close. Have someone watch to make sure you and your tools stay at least three metres (10 feet) back from powerlines.

  • Plant trees away from overhead powerlines. Avoid problems down the line by determining how large the tree will grow and planting it a safe distance away, so it does not grow into a powerline.If your trees have already grown into the powerlines, contact your local utility or a utility arborist. Do not prune trees around powerlines yourself and carry your ladder sideways–never upright!

  • Call or click before you dig. Before you start construction on a fence, deck, or other landscaping project, check with Ontario One Call. They will tell you about any utility-owned infrastructure you may need to work around. Underground services that you own requires private locates.

  • Talk to your kids about powerline safety. Help children find safe places to play, away from utility poles and powerlines. Remind children never to climb trees near powerlines. Make sure they look closely, since leaves and branches can hide the wires. The greenboxes on lawns or in parks are also off-limits.

  • After a storm, be aware of downed powerlines that may be hidden beneath debris and tree branches. Wait until the power is disconnected or powerlines are repaired before starting yard cleanup as they can still be energized. Remember to stay at least 10 metres back.

  • If your vehicle hits a powerline and causes powerlines to fall onto the ground or your car, the vehicle and the ground around it can become electrified. If your vehicle catches fire, jump clear of your vehicle with both feet together and hop or shuffle - feet still together - at least 10 metres away from the downed powerline

Lucky the Squirrel videos

WNH, along with other utilities, created a series of animated videos starring Lucky the Squirrel. These short, educational videos are a great way to teach young children, family, and friends, important electrical safety messages.

There are two videos that focus on overhead powerlines and staying safe, these videos can be seen below:

Look Up! Look Out!

Keep Your Distance from Overhead Powerlines



Please visit www.wnhydro.com/luckythesquirrel to see all the videos in the series

Additionally, we encourage you to download our Lucky the Squirrel trading cards. Collect all six and learn important safety facts you can share with others. Visit www.wnhydro.com/lucky to find out more and get your copies today.

For more electrical safety tips, please visit www.wnhydro.com/safety or https://esasafe.com/safety/home-electrical-safety/home-safety/.