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

Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted young boys released from prison

Statutory release for Don Putt who Parole Board calls an ‘untreated sex offender’

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Young hurt by flu bug

Past mirrors present as Chilliwack wrestles with a flu bug in January of 1979.

Teen accused in Abbotsford attack on 85-year-old convicted of firearms offence

Brandon Janveaux found in vehicle in Chilliwack with .22-calibre rifle down his pants

Dad of missing Abbotsford woman charged after allegedly exposing himself in park

Barry Shpeley charged with sexual assault and assault at Hougen Park

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Should winter tires be mandatory in the Lower Mainland?

ICBC dial-a-claims go up as winter storm takes toll

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read