A tangle of wires around a downed power pole and transformer
Credit: iStock

If you see a downed line, it's a danger. Stay back and dial 911.

We want you to be aware of the dangers of fallen power lines and know what to do if you were to come across one. It all comes down to three simple words: ‘Down. Danger. Dial.’ – meaning if you come across a downed line, consider it a danger, stay back at least 10 metres (the length of a city bus) and dial 911 immediately.
There is no way to tell if a downed line is energized and therefore very dangerous. Even if it seems like it's not live, it could be re-energized without warning. This is why it's important to call 911 immediately, so emergency responders can secure the area and ensure no one gets hurt. Warn others nearby to stay back as well.
Damage to our electrical infrastructure is more common during fall and winter months, as high wind and rain can cause trees and branches to knock down lines and damage poles. This is why it's so important that we're more vigilant and stay safe at this time of the year.

Put together an emergency kit for your family

Winter brings not only dark skies and cold temperatures, but also a greater likelihood of wind, snow and ice storms that can disrupt electrical distribution. Be prepared for outages by keeping, in an easily accessible location, an emergency kit packed with:

  • flashlights
  • extra batteries
  • drinking water
  • first-aid supplies
  • non-perishable snacks

Consider getting a backup battery charger for your cellphone; keep it fully charged at all times. Create an emergency preparedness plan and share it with every member of your household.

Find out more about developing a plan at getprepared.gc.ca.