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​Substations, transformers, and power lines

Substations, transformers, and power lines are essential components of electrical infrastructure. These facilities and equipment can also be quite dangerous and tampering or interfering with these assets can result in serious injury or death.

Electrical substation and cubicle safety rules

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Electrical transformer safety rules

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Power lines

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Electrical substation safety rules

Our electrical substations change high-voltage electricity to a lower voltage used in homes and businesses.

Always pay attention and obey the electrical substation safety signs posted by EPCOR on our electrical substations. Never enter the fenced area of a substation as there is a high risk of injury.

Call 24/7

Help keep our crews and the public safe by reporting any theft, damage, suspicious activity, or unattended copper components to the police and/or our 24/7 emergency line at (780) 412-4500.

If your ball or frisbee goes over the fence of a substation, do not go in after it. Instead, contact our 24/7 emergency line at (780) 412-4500 for assistance.

If you see an open gate at a substation, please stay out and report it to our 24/7 emergency line at (780) 412-4500.


Electrical transformer and cubicle safety rules

Transformers are the grey or green boxes found on and near front yards throughout Edmonton. Cubicles are large grey or green boxes be found near the entrance to your neighborhood. Transformers and cubicles are sometimes referred to as utility boxes or electrical boxes. These transformers and cubicles are tied to underground distribution lines, which deliver electricity to nearby households and businesses.

This equipment can be dangerous, which is why transformers typically have warning signs with messages like "Danger High Voltage" and "Danger Keep Out".

Here are some things we can all do to ensure the safety of ourselves and others when working or playing near transformers and other electrical equipment.

Report open or damaged transformers

Contact us at our 24/7 emergency line at (780) 412-4500 if you see:

  • A transformer with a door that is open or damaged
  • A transformer that's been hit by a vehicle

Don't play on or near transformers or cubicles

Power transformers and cubicles can contain a variety of different utility equipment. Although they have a secure and enclosed design, they can still be dangerous. Don't play on or around these transformers or cubicles, and keep others away from them too. 

Call before you dig

Transformers and cubicles are connected to buried power lines, which run power into households and businesses.

It's important to call or click before you dig near this equipment so that power lines and other utilities can be marked before you start digging.

Once the utilities have been marked, ensure you hand exposing the utilities with a hydro vac or shovel. Do not use motor powered digging devices (e.g. excavator or auger) within 1 metre on either side of the locate marks. Also, make sure your digging area is at least 2 metres away from all sides of the transformer or cubicle. There is a ground grid buried around transformers and cubicles that is will not be indicated on the locate sheet, but still poses a safety risk if you dig to close to it.

Ph: 1 (800) 242-3447
Website: utilitysafety.ca

Provide access to electrical equipment

You should always make sure there is proper access to transformers. There should be a clear 3 metre path on all four sides of the transformer. Don't block access to the transformer with fences, shrubs, construction materials, or equipment. This ensures crews are able to quickly access the transformer, this is especially important if they are responding to an emergency outage.

​Power lines

Different types of power lines have different structures and voltages. Whether dealing with a high-voltage transmission line or a lower-voltage distribution line, stay at least 7 metres away from power lines.

Distribution lines

Distribution lines are medium-voltage lines that run throughout the city. Their voltage can range between 2,400 to 25,000 volts. Distribution lines are mainly underground in newer neighborhoods and above-ground (pole-mounted) in older urban neighborhoods. Although they carry less voltage than transmission lines, accidental contacts with distribution lines are more frequent and still quite dangerous.

Transmission lines

Transmission lines are high-voltage lines directly connected to power generating stations. Transmission lines can be located either underground or overhead and can carry up to 500,000 volts. This high voltage is necessary for the power to travel longer distances while minimizing electricity loss.

Report downed power lines

If you see a downed power line, keep everyone else at least 10 metres away. Call 911 or Power Trouble immediately and tell them the exact location of the line.

 


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.