A safe and reliable supply of electricity to our homes is something we often take for granted. We wake up, turn on the lights, start the coffee maker, and go about our day without thinking twice.
But did you know that the electrical equipment in your home and around our city can be very dangerous?
To help you stay safe and maintain peace of mind, we’ve gathered 12 important electrical safety tips. Follow these electrical safety tips to ensure you avoid potentially life changing electrical hazards.
🏠 At Home
Don’t Mess with Meters
The electrical meter attached to your home is not just used to measure your consumption. This is also a critical point where electricity passes from the grid into your home.
Touching your meter or meter base could lead to a dangerous electric shock. If you notice your meter is loose or damaged, give us a call and we will have it repaired by a pro.
Test Your Devices
After a power surge, it is important to check on your electronic safety devices to ensure they are still in working order.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) are important safety devices to protect you from shocks and electrical fires. Locate the test or reset buttons on your devices to ensure they are working after a surge.
If your home has hardwired smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, it is important to test these devices after a surge. A device failure could have dire consequences.
Stay Safe During Outages
Despite our best efforts, power outages are inevitable. Follow our Emergency Preparedness guide to keep your family prepared in the event of an outage.
When outages occur, it is important to immediately shut off any cooking appliances. Once power is restored, these devices may turn back on, causing a serious fire hazard if they have been forgotten.
Tame the Tangle
As our dependence on electronics continues to grow, more and more devices need to be plugged in around our homes. It is important to manage these devices without overloading outlets or power bars. Power bars and extension cords should never be plugged into each other.
The stress created by overloading a power outlet can lead to electrical fires and cause serious property damage, severe injury, or even death.
Replace Frayed Cords
With electrical injuries accounting for more than 20,000 visits to emergency departments per year in North America, it is important to do our best to avoid one of the most common hazards.
Frayed wires and power cords are a common and often overlooked issue in Canadian households. Locating frayed cords and replacing them could help prevent electric shock and/or fires.
Hire a Pro
There is no such thing as an amateur electrician. Do-it-yourself electrical work can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious injury or death.
We recommend hiring an Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) licensed electrician to complete any electrical work around your home. Use the ESA’s Contractor Locator tool to find a licensed electrician near you.
🌇 Around Our City
Call Before You Dig
Before taking on an outdoor project at home or around the city, contact Ontario One Call to ensure it is safe to dig.
Contact with underground electrical infrastructure can not only present a significant risk to your safety, but you could be held liable for any damage you cause.
Get Off the Green Box
Pad mounted transformers (informally known as green boxes) contain high voltage electrical equipment.
For your safety, avoid making contact or tampering with pad mount transformers and never allow children to play on or near electrical equipment.
Look Up, Look Out
Powerlines and pole mounted transformers can cause deadly shocks. When working outdoors, always look up and look out, so that you know exactly where overhead electrical equipment is.
You don’t have to touch this equipment to get a deadly shock. Electricity can jump or “arc” to you or your tools if you get too close. Always remain at least 3 meters from overhead electrical equipment.
Stay Clear of Substations
To ensure safe and reliable electricity across Oshawa, we operate 9 individual substations. These locations contain dangerous high voltage equipment and should never be entered.
If you lose something inside a substation or notice something unusual occurring at or near a substation, contact our team to inspect the area.
🚗 On the Road
Stay Back, Stay Safe
If you come across a downed wire on our City streets, always assume it is a livewire and remain at least 10 meters (the length of a school bus) back. You are encouraged to help keep others away from the wire(s) and clear of the area.
These wires can be extremely dangerous and should be reported to both Oshawa Power and 9-11 immediately.
Remain in Your Vehicle
If you are in a vehicle and a powerline lands on your vehicle, do not attempt to remove the powerline. Remain in the vehicle and encourage any observers to stay at least 10 meters back.
Immediately contact 9-11 and Oshawa Power and do not exit the vehicle until a utility worker informs you that it is safe to do so.
If you must exit your vehicle due to a fire or other emergency, follow the ESA’s guide to safely exiting your vehicle.
Don’t Be Shocked
Electrical hazards are dangerous, but most can be avoided by practicing simple electrical safety. Following these electrical safety tips can help keep you safe from potential hazards at home, outside, and on the road.
For more electrical safety tips, visit the Electrical Safety Authority’s website.
Bring Electrical Safety to Your Classroom
Are you or someone you know a local educator looking to bring electrical safety knowledge to the classroom? Reach out to our team to request a visit!