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

Phase three presents new opportunities for Kootenay tourism

Message from MLA Michelle Mungall and MLA Katrine Conroy

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

RDKB to spend $5,000 to review 2020 freshet response

The province is also kicking in $5,000 for the review of flood protection rollout and communications

FortisBC sees record-high summer electricity usage in Okanagan and Kootenays

‘As temperatures spike, so does the demand for electricity’ - FortisBC

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Most Read