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

Coldest Night of the Year returns to Cranbrook in February

Canadian Mental Health Association Kootenays plans to raise $20K

New autonomous technology program debuting at College of the Rockies

The College of the Rockies is launching a new two-year Autonomous Systems… Continue reading

City to co-host climate info session in February

City, environmental organizations invite public for discussions on climate change and action

What to do in January? Lots going on in Kimberley/Cranbrook

Pictured above: Kootenay Lately (pictured at SummerSounds last year) kick off the… Continue reading

Fire Hall organizes fundraiser for Cranbrook Community Forest Society

Paul Rodgers The Cranbrook Community Forest Society (CCFS) has found itself with… Continue reading

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Most Read