Safety at Home

Click on the links below or scroll down for additional safety information: 

Safety at work 

What to do in the event of a power outage

What should be in your emergency kit

Safety tips on the use of a home generator

What to do if you see a downed powerline

What to do if a powerline is touching your vehicle

What to do if you find damage to your property’s electrical system

Opening / Closing the Cottage safety tips

Yard and garden safety tips

Home Safety

Outdoor Safety

Personal Safety

Our Internal Safety Standards

 

Power Line Safety Videos

How familiar are you with electrical safety information that can save your life?

 

Always call before you dig. It's definitely the right thing to do. It could save your life! Call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255.

 

It is very dangerous to touch an overhead power line. You could be killed!

 

 

Keep yourself or any object you're using a minimum of 3-6 meters (10 - 20 feet) away from overhead power lines.

 

 

 

Electrical equipment is often contained in locked steel cabinets that appear on front lawns. It is very dangerous to try to open or touch the equipment inside.

 

If you are in a vehicle that a power line has come down on stay inside until power has been disconnected. Call 911, warn others not to approach.

 ONLY if you are in immediate danger (eg: your car is on fire) should you exit the vehicle very carefully following these steps:

  • Remove any loose-fitting clothing. Ensure that no part of your body or your clothing is touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time when you exit the vehicle.
  • With the door open, prepare to jump by tucking your elbows into your stomach and keeping your hands clasped close to your chest.
  • Jump out and away from the vehicle, making sure that you land with your feet together. You must not stumble, so don't try and jump far. Just travel a couple of feet so you can make sure you're not touching the vehicle.
  • Move away from the vehicle, using the shuffle technique – it’s dangerous to walk normally by stepping and picking your feet off the ground.
    • The shuffle technique: ensure your feet do not lift off the ground, and that your feet are always touching. The inside of your heel should still be touching the toe of the other foot when you start to move the other leg forward.

 

If you see a downed power line maintain a distance of at least 10 meters (33 feet) about the length of a school bus. Report the downed line to Entegrus or 911 immediately and warn others not to approach.

 

  

 

 

Keep Ontario roads safe for workers

 

Workers who work on or near Ontario’s roadways are vulnerable to a number of hazards. For workers on foot, a busy road where passing vehicles are constantly on the move can be a very dangerous place.

 

These hazards are magnified if drivers are distracted by things like mobile devices, passengers, or other diversions that can take their eyes and minds off the road.

 

In 2013, deaths from distracted driving in Ontario were higher than those from impaired driving or speeding. (OPP) 

 

Economic losses caused by traffic collision-related health care costs and lost productivity are at least $10 billion annually. That’s about 1% of Canada's GDP (Government of Canada).

 

It is time to raise awareness of the health and safety hazards to workers who may be endangered by distracted driving. Visit http://www.ihsa.ca/stayfocused 

 

Safety at work:

High voltage powerlines are unforgiving and lethal. Visit the ESA website for a campaign that shows the true power / danger of powerlines. Also, take the time to view the safety tips at work webpage.  

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What to do in the event of a power outage:

  • Leave a light turned on so you know when power is restored.
  • Refuel heaters, lamps, and generators outside, and stay away from any flames or sparks. Wipe up fuel spills immediately.
  • Never operate lanterns, heaters, or fuel-fired stoves without proper ventilation.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors. It releases poisonous carbon monoxide.
  • Avoid downed power lines or sparking equipment.
  • Never remove debris that's within 10 feet of a power line.
  • Prevent children from carrying candles or oil lamps.

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What should be in your emergency kit:

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Safety tips on the use of a home generator:

Home generators are handy for backup electricity in case of an outage, but must only be used in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines. A back-up generator may only be connected to your home's electrical system through an approved transfer panel and switch that has been installed by a qualified electrician. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet as serious injury can result when the current produced by the home generator is fed back into the electrical lines, and transformed to a higher voltage. This can endanger the lives of utility employees working to restore the power.

To operate a generator safely:

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Ensure that the generator operates outdoors in well-ventilated conditions, well away from doors or windows, including the basement or garage, to prevent exhaust gases from entering the house.
  • Do not hook up a generator directly to your home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to run directly to the outlets on the generator.
  • Connect lights and appliances directly to the generator. If extension cords must be used, ensure they are properly rated, CSA-approved cords.

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What to do if you see downed power lines:

  • Never touch a downed power line or any wire near it. Keep a minimum of 33 ft (10 metres) distance, about the length of a school bus. A common myth is that a power line is insulated like a power cord. What may look like insulation is actually weatherproofing material, which offers no insulation. Power lines are not insulated like power cords. Even telephone or cable lines can become energized. Call Entegrus or 911. 

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What to do if a power line is touching your vehicle:

Stay in the vehicle until power has been disconnected from the line.  Call 911, warn others not to approach. ONLY if you are in immediate danger (eg: your car is on fire) should you exit the vehicle very carefully following these steps:

  • Remove any loose-fitting clothing. Ensure that no part of your body or your clothing is touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time when you exit the vehicle.
  • With the door open, prepare to jump by tucking your elbows into your stomach and keeping your hands clasped close to your chest.
  • Jump out and away from the vehicle, making sure that you land with your feet together. You must not stumble, so don't try and jump far. Just travel a couple of feet so you can make sure you're not touching the vehicle.
  • Move away from the vehicle, using the shuffle technique – it’s dangerous to walk normally by stepping and picking your feet off the ground.
    • The shuffle technique: ensure your feet do not lift off the ground, and that your feet are always touching. The inside of your heel should still be touching the toe of the other foot when you start to move the other leg forward.

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What to do if you find damage to your property’s electrical system:

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Opening / closing the cottage safety tips

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has compiled some electrical safety tips for opening and closing your cottage, click here to view on the ESA website.

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Yard and garden safety tips

Whether you're around the pool, building a deck or doing yardwork, visit the ESA website to review electrical safety tips can help keep you and your family safe.

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Home Safety

  • Make sure that everyone in your home is familiar with where the main electrical switch is so they can turn off the electric supply to your entire home quickly in case of an emergency.
  • Never run electrical cords under rugs or carpets.
  • If you are planning to repair your home by either doing roof repairs or siding installations, call Entegrus. to have the service disconnected to your home. There is no charge to you or to your contractor.
  • Use extreme caution when working from metal scaffolding or aluminum ladders around power lines. Electricity looks for the easiest path to ground. You could be that path if the metal object you are touching comes in contact with an electric circuit.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets with multiple appliances; this could cause a fire in your home.
  • Never use electric appliances, such as radios and hair dryers near sinks, toilets or bathtubs.
  • Use extension cords with three pronged plugs for appliances that require grounding. Insert and remove plugs by grasping the plug. Do not touch the metal prongs or pull on the cord.
  • Install safety caps into wall outlets when small children are around.
  • Never use water on an electrical fire.
  • Always dry your hands before touching electric appliances.
  • Use GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) in your home. These provide split second electrical protection.
  • Do not install antennas near hydro wires. Maintain safe minimum distance of at 10 feet (3 metres)  from the top of the antenna to any power lines.
  • Flagpoles are metal, and can carry electricity if they contact powerlines

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Outdoor Safety

  • Know what's below / Call before you dig. If you have underground electric lines, never start a digging project (whether you're building a fence or deck, or planting a tree) without knowing where the lines are located. Visit Ontario One Call  or call 1-800-400-2255. 
  • Overhead power lines and wires:  Never come into contact with an overhead wire with items such as a pole, or a stick.  Electricity has the ability to travel down objects it comes in contact with, that could result in an electrical shock resulting in serious injury or death.  Ensure your swimming pool is not installed near hydro wires:  there is a risk of hitting the wires with long handled cleaning equipment.
  • Warning signs: Pay attention to all warning signs in outdoor areas!  “Danger High Voltage” or any “Danger” signs should be avoided at all costs.  Always respect utility equipment, and never touch or climb poles, towers, metal transformer boxes, and NEVER try to attempt to enter a station.
  • Outdoor electrical outlets:  Ensure outdoor outlets are weatherproof and equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) - this is especially important in damp locations where more protection is necessary than a fuse or circuit breaker.  Appliances should not be used outdoors unless they are equipped with a heavy duty cord and 3 prong plug.
  • Trees: Ensure the trees where children play do not have wires passing through them.  Never climb or play in trees when wires running through are present.
  • Kites/ balloons / remote controlled airplanes:  When using these fun summer activities, stay clear of any overhead power lines and wires.  Use these devices ONLY in clear, open spaces.
  • Gardening/Landscaping: Call before you dig!  Contact On1Call (www.On1call.com /1-800-400-2255). Underground cable is usually 0.5 to 1 metre below ground level. Make sure you know the location of buried electrical lines.
  • During a lightning storm:  Seek shelter in a house or car if possible.  If golfing, ensure to get into your golf cart.  If you’re swimming, be sure to get out of the water.  Avoid open spaces and trees, seek low ground if no shelter is available & sit or lie down.  

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Personal Safety

  • Stay away from fallen powerlines; always consider every wire as if it were live, even if it doesn't look like it. The wire may not be sparking or making burning sounds, but could still be energized at full line potential.
  • Stay indoors after severe storms until electrical crews have been around to repair fallen wires. If you see a fallen wire at anytime, please contact Entegrus. 
  • Never build tree forts or climb in trees where there are wires. Sometimes electrical wires run directly through trees.
  • Never play on or near electrical transformers. They may look like large green boxes and can be found either in the front or back yard of your home. Transformers are also located below ground in large cement vaults, never shove objects into these enclosures, there is live energized equipment inside that could harm you.
  • If your pet climbs a hydro pole or a tree that is near powerlines, please do not try to climb and rescue the animal. Instead persuade the animal down with some food. Often, the animal comes down on it’s own.
  • Always choose a safe area far away from energized power lines when flying a kite or model airplane. The string on the kite, or the control wire can become conductive. Helium metallic balloons have been responsible for many power outages; use extreme caution when flying these objects near power lines.
  • The safest way to move a ladder, flag pole, or other lengthy objects from one location to another is to have two people carry it. Keeping these objects horizontal avoids contact with overhead wires.
  • If you are in a vehicle that comes in contact with power lines, do not leave the vehicle unless you are in immediate danger. Touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time could be fatal. You should stay 33 meters away from downed power lines, and keep EVERYONE away from them until the Hydro crews arrive.

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Internal Safety Standards

Entegrus has a corporate commitment to delivering electricity to our customers in a safe and reliable manner. Protecting and educating the public and our employees about the hazards of electricity distribution is taken very seriously. Electrical Safety standards that protect the public from high voltage powerlines are applied to every construction project, and the distribution system throughout our service area is inspected regularly to ensure it is operating safely.

Entegrus is a long-standing member of the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA) to ensure our employees are provided the tools to help them work safely. The Company participates in the IHSA ZeroQuest Program, guiding participants through the process of building a sustainable health and safety system with the goal of achieving zero injuries. Entegrus has achieved the last of the four level process, the Sustainability Level, where a firm must be constantly engaged in planning, implementing, checking, and correcting its health and safety system. In 2015, Entegrus acheived the IHSA Certificate of Recognition (COR™). COR™ is aimed at driving positive workplace behaviour and practices that lead to improved performance, and Entegrus is the 2nd utility on Ontario to acheieve this milestone. Learn more about COR here. 

image of COR logo

 

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