Electricity: handle and use with care
Major Electrical Hazards in the Home
Electrical fires can be caused by overloads on circuits not meant to carry the current flowing through them, and by poor electrical connections. A short circuit occurs when the normal current path is changed, by passing through broken insulation or a bad connection to another conductor – thus causing the short circuit. As a result of the short circuit, a very hot spark or electric arc occurs, which can ignite insulation or nearby combustibles.
Shocks happen due to electrical current (amperes) flowing through the human body. A fraction of one ampere can kill a human being. Misunderstanding often plays a part in these unfortunate accidents in the home. Many people think that when an appliance is turned to “off”, there is no electricity in it. As long as the appliance is plugged into an outlet, parts of it are still “live”.
Take special care near power lines
Don’t come close to or touch power lines yourself or with equipment. Even touching the equipment that contacts a line could be tragically harmful.
Be careful if you’re installing an antenna; get someone to help you. Touching or even going near a hydro wire with a ladder or antenna could cause serious injury or death. Antennas should be installed well away from power lines; the distance should equal at least the height of the antenna plus 3 metres.
When planting trees or shrubs that will grow tall, make sure they won’t grow up into power lines. Do not attempt to prune or chop down a tree near lines yourself. A tree falling onto a power line could cause serious injury or death.
Remember, many power lines are underground. To cut through one is extremely dangerous and could even black out an entire area. If you’re gardening, landscaping, fencing or doing major excavations, please call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255.
Stay clear of fallen wires
If you do spot a fallen wire, keep at least 10m away, even if it doesn’t appear to be live. Report it to the police and Hydro Hawkesbury Inc.
If a wire falls across your car while you’re in it, don’t get out. Wait for a qualified lineman from Hydro Hawkesbury Inc. to come and safely remove it. Remember, both the car and the ground around it may be electrified.