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​Outdoor safety at home

Electrical safety around the home starts with awareness of the different electrical hazards present. From overhead power lines and underground cables to pools and hot tubs, keep yourself and your family safe outside.

General work safety

Outdoor electrical safety when you are working outdoors and around your home starts with planning. Be aware of the potential electrical hazards around you and plan accordingly.

  • Learn where the power lines are and keep your equipment outside the limits of approach. Whether you're working with scaffolding, ladders, brooms or chainsaws, always be aware of where power lines are located around your property and stay at least 7 metres away. If you need to complete work within 7 metres of a power line or within 1 metre of the overhead service line to your home, contact Power Emergencies at (780) 412-4500 and we can help provide guidance about doing the work safely.
  • If you have overhead power lines nearby, lower your ladder when moving it around your yard.
  • Before you dig, contact Utility Safety Partners to mark any underground utilities in the area and practice safe digging in these areas.
  • Make sure you have a backflow device on your outdoor hose tap to prevent contaminants from getting back into your home water supply.

 

 

Call for guidance

 If you need to complete work within 7 metres of a power line, contact us. We can help provide guidance on how to work safely.

You can call us 24/7.

Ph: (780) 412-4500

 

 

 

 

Call before you dig


Ph: 1 (800) 242-3447

 

Digging

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Landscaping

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Tree pruning

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Holiday lighting and decor

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Kites
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Pools and hot tubsRead more

  Digging

Are you planning any projects on your property that involve excavation? For safety's sake, before starting any work that requires you to disturb the ground, always contact Utility Safety Partners (1 (800) 242-3447) and submit a locate request. This is a free service. You should allow two days for the lines to be located.

Utility lines include water, electricity, drainage, and gas lines. A Utility Safety Partners representative will locate and mark them so that you can proceed with your project safely.

Digging safely to protect yourself and the buried lines will not only save you money in the long run, but could even save your life.

  • Don't use any mechanical device within 1 metre of power lines.
  • Using a shovel, carefully hand expose cables.
  • Be careful not to damage cables with your shovel.

 If you hit a utility line:

  • Stop digging and leave the area.
  • Call 911 or the utility's emergency contact number. For power and water service in Edmonton, call (780) 412-4500.
  • Report even minor damage to the utility company. For power and water service in Edmonton, call (780) 412-4500.

  Landscaping

EPCOR must have unrestricted access to transformers at all times to maintain the system. Keep transformers on your property clear of obstacles, plants and shrubs. You also need to keep a minimum clearance area around power poles and other electrical equipment.

When planting near a transformer, consider the changing size of the plant as it matures and allow for safe clearance. Typically, 3 metres is required in front of a locked transformer door and at least 2 metres clearance on all other sides.

When planting trees, always make an effort to position them far away from overhead power lines.

  Tree pruning

Trees or other vegetation sometimes grow too close to power lines or equipment, creating potential safety hazards.

If trees are near your overhead service line (runs from power pole to your house or garage):

  • You are responsible for trimming the tress that interfere with the service line.
  • Call us at (780) 412-4500 and we can temporarily disconnect power to the service line so you can trim the tree safely. We do this free of charge.

If trees are near power lines (run from power pole to power pole):

  • Don't prune the tree yourself.
  • Contact an arborist that is trained to trim trees near power lines.
  • Call us at (780) 412-4500. We can provide assistance to the arborist so they can trim the trees safely.

If you are trimming trees near your power service line:

  • Call us at (780) 412-4500 amd we can temporarily disconnect power to the service line so you can trim the tree safely. We do this free of charge.
  • Use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet for electric trimmers and chainsaws.
  • If possible, use battery operated or rechargeable hedge trimmers.
  • Always unplug equipment before cleaning.
  • Repair damaged blades, plugs or cords.

  Holiday lighting and decor

Stay safe during the holiday season.

  • Check your lights and replace burnt out bulbs. Toss any lights with damaged cords.
  • If you leave your lights up year round, check for sun damage to cords.
  • Always use extension cords and timers rated for outside use.
  • If you have a service connect from an overhead power line, lower your ladder when moving it around your yard.

  Kites

When a kite or balloon makes contact with a power line, it creates a path for the electricity to travel to the ground. If a person is part of that path, they can be seriously injured.

Never fly kites or hold balloons around power lines and remember these tips:

  • Before you fly a kite or balloon, check for overhead power lines. If any are nearby, move to a different area.
  • If the wind pushes your kite or balloon near a power line or other electrical infrastructure, let go of it.
  • If your kite or balloon becomes tangled in a line, don't attempt to retrieve it. Call Power Emergencies at (780) 412-4500 for assistance.
  • Avoid flying kites that contain parts made out of metal or wires.

  Pools and hot tubs

Electricity and water don't mix. Always practice electrical safety around water as it can conduct an electrical current which if passed through a body could cause serious injury, or even death.  An electric current passing through a body can also cause paralysis, which can cause a person to drown if they are in water at the time.

A hot tub may run on electricity, but you should not have other items plugged in near the water. Treat a hot tub or pool like a bathtub and keep electrical appliances and other items away from the water. Here are some more safety tips:

  • Never leave your child unattended in or near a swimming pool, hot tub or spa.
  • Make sure pools/tubs have effective barriers (like a fence or gate) to help guard against unauthorized access. This is also a legal requirement in many areas; check with your city or homeowner's association for more information.
  • Don't allow barriers, such as fences or walls, to give you a false sense of security regarding your child's safety; there's no substitute for adult supervision.
  • Fence gates should have self-closing, self-latching mechanisms. Latches need to be out of reach of young children.
  • Lock all doors and windows leading to the pool areas.
  • Keep toys, tricycles and other children's play things away from the pool or spa.
  • Mount life-saving devices near the pool.
  • Keep tables, chairs and ladders away from pool fences and gates.
  • Check placement of doggie doors to ensure there's no direct access to the pool area.
  • Post clear CPR instructions and your local emergency number in a visible place near the pool in case of an emergency. Installing a phone in the pool area or keeping a cordless phone nearby is also a good idea.
  • Learn CPR. Check with your local Red Cross or St. John Ambulance for available classes.

 


Disclaimer

This webpage provides information regarding safe work practices in relation to EPCOR power facilities. Employers and contractors have responsibilities under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (Alberta OHS) Act, Code, and Regulation. When there is a conflict between this document and any bylaws, legislation, or regulation, the relevant law prevails. Any reliance placed on this information is strictly at your own risk. EPCOR does not assume any responsibility or liability for any action, loss or damage that arises out of, or is in connection with the information contained in this webpage.