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Toronto Hydro launches new safety campaign: Downed lines are deadly

Campaign comes as spring storm season gets underway

TORONTO, May 16, 2019 /CNW/ - It's Powerline Safety Week, and to raise awareness of the dangers of downed electrical wires, Toronto Hydro has launched a safety campaign called Downed Lines are Deadly.

Several Toronto Hydro trucks have been wrapped with powerline safety messages as part of the new campaign. (CNW Group/Toronto Hydro Corporation)

This campaign comes in response to five major storms that swept through Toronto between April and September last year, causing downed trees and powerlines and leaving a combined total of 175,000 customers without power.

To promote awareness, advertisements are being featured in subways, TTC buses, online and on several Toronto Hydro vehicles, which are being wrapped in safety messaging. As extreme storms are expected to become more common, this is an important step to keep the public safe. 

Storms can also cause damage to the equipment owned by customers that connect their homes to the electricity grid. Any damaged equipment must be repaired by an electrician before Toronto Hydro can safely reconnect power, avoiding the risk of shock or fire.

In addition to the campaign, Toronto Hydro has also worked with the Electrical Safety Authority and Toronto Police Services to develop a caution tape that's specifically designed to be used at downed wires scenes to help prevent the public from entering into dangerous areas.

As spring storm season is now here, Toronto Hydro wants the public to stay safe and know what to do if they come across a downed wire: stay back at least 10 metres (the length of a school bus) and call 9-1-1 or report it to Toronto Hydro at 416-542-8000.

For more safety information, visit torontohydro.com/safety

QUICK FACTS

  • A recent survey showed that just 37% of Toronto Hydro customers knew the safe distance to stay away from a downed wire, which is 10 metres
  • The Downed Lines are Deadly campaign will run until July 1

QUOTES

"Protecting the public during emergency situations is a key priority for Toronto Hydro. With extreme weather and high winds becoming more common, it's important that people understand the dangers of downed wires and the proper distance to maintain to avoid injury or even death."

-       Tori Gass, Spokesperson, Toronto Hydro

"Typically, a homeowner's ownership of the electrical equipment begins where the wires attach to the house. The wire from the pole to the house is generally the utility's, but the mast, the wires inside the mast/pipe and the wires attached to and inside the house belong to the homeowner. Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to repair any damaged customer-owned equipment. Your utility cannot repair privately-owned equipment."

-       Dr. Joel Moody, Chief Public Safety Officer, Electrical Safety Authority

ABOUT TORONTO HYDRO

Toronto Hydro owns and operates the electricity distribution system for Canada's largest city. It has approximately 772,000 customers located in the city of Toronto and distributes approximately 19% of the electricity consumed in Ontario.

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This Toronto Hydro truck is 10 metres long - the exact length to stay back from downed powerlines. (CNW Group/Toronto Hydro Corporation)

Toronto Hydro, the Electrical Safety Authority and the Toronto Police Service have developed a new caution tape that will be used at downed powerline scenes. (CNW Group/Toronto Hydro Corporation)

SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation