Published On: Wednesday, 06 December 2017

Stay Clear of Dangerous Storm Downed Wires

Stay Clear of Dangerous Storm Downed Wires
Snow, rain, ice and high winds can all create the hazard of storm-downed wires. B.C. Hydro warns residents to stay well back from any fallen wires or damaged poles.

B.C. – B.C. Hydro is emphasizing the importance of electrical safety this storm season as electrical contact incidents resulting in serious injury are on the rise.

Damage to B.C. Hydro’s electrical infrastructure is more common during the fall and winter months as strong wind, heavy rain and snow can cause trees and branches to knock down power lines and damage other electrical equipment.

Every downed power line should be considered live and dangerous – even if it is not smoking, sparking, or making a buzzing sound – and should be treated as an emergency. If a member of the public comes across a downed power line, they should:

  • Stay back at least 10 metres (33 feet) – about the length of a city bus;
  • Dial 911 and let the dispatcher know a power line has fallen or is damaged; and
  • Keep others in the vicinity at least a bus-length away until B.C. Hydro crews and first responders arrive on scene to make the area safe.

B.C. Hydro is also reminding British Columbians to use caution, stay 10 metres back, and dial 911 if they come across a low-hanging power line close to the ground, a tree that has fallen on an power line, a power pole with a broken crossarm, or a power pole leaning more than two metres.

For more information on electrical safety, visit