Powerline safety

Look up, look down, look all around.

Powerlines are one of our most important types of equipment. They’re also one of the most dangerous ones. This section explains how to stay safe around downed powerlines.

What to do if you see a downed powerline

All downed powerlines should be treated as live. They may be carrying power that can electrify the ground. If you come across a downed wire, you must:

  • Stay back at least 10 metres, which is the length of a school bus
  • Report to us at 416-542-8000 or to 911 immediately

What to do if a downed powerline lands on your vehicle

Stay inside the vehicle

  • Always assume a downed powerline is live and that the ground around it may be electrified
  • If you can drive out from under the wire, drive slowly until you're a least 10 metres away. Then call us at 416-542-8000 or 911
  • If you can't move the vehicle, stay inside and call 416-542-8000 or 911
  • Wait for Toronto Hydro crews to make the area safe

If you must leave the vehicle

If you’re in immediate danger, such as a fire, follow these steps to escape:

  • Don’t step out of the car. Jump and make sure to land with both feet together
  • As you jump, be sure not to touch the car and the ground at the same time
  • Shuffle at least 10 metres away from the car
  • Call us at 416-542-8000 or call 911

If you're a bystander

  • Treat all downed wires as live because they can electrify the ground around them
  • Stay back at least 10 metres (the length of a school bus)
  • Report to us at 416-542-8000 or call 911