Toronto Hydro launches “Be Safe” campaign

TORONTO, ONTARIO - As winter weather approaches, Toronto Hydro is launching the "Be Safe" campaign to remind Toronto residents to be cautious around all electrical equipment.

Winter storms are tough on the electrical system. This winter, Toronto Hydro will aggressively promote public awareness and safety related to all aspects of our equipment through several channels including advertising, bill communications, the corporate website, and directly through public outreach.

Through the "Be Safe" campaign, Toronto Hydro will remind customers about:

Contact Voltage

Contact voltage is an intermittent condition that exists when electricity or voltage is in contact with street equipment such as handwells or electric system plate covers, and is more likely to be present during icy conditions. Freezing and thawing can cause the areas around underground equipment to move, thereby creating conditions where contact voltage can occur.

Toronto Hydro will continue to patrol the city with three scanning trucks that are equipped with special-purpose hardware and software to detect contact voltage; repairs will be made as necessary. As well, Toronto Hydro is working to change the standards and introduce a new non-conductive handwell lid.

Standards for new construction will include a plastic handwell unit instead of the traditional concrete to encase and protect wiring and equipment.

When possible, customers and their pets should avoid contact with equipment like handwells in sidewalks.

The Electric System, Trees and Storms

Winter storms and high winds can cause trees to take down overhead wires. Wires that come down can be 'live', and wet or icy roads can provide an unsafe path for electricity to travel.

Remain at least 30 feet away from downed wires and call 911 or Toronto Hydro (416.542.8000). Toronto Hydro will dispatch a truck immediately.

Customers should not try to trim back trees if they are concerned - instead they should call Toronto Hydro's forestry department (416.542.7800). Forestry crews at Toronto Hydro are trained to prune trees around power lines and there is no cost for this service if the tree interferes with power lines.

General Safety for Children

Regardless of weather, parents should discourage children from playing around electrical equipment or near power lines, work sites and power stations. If locks or doors on electrical equipment or stations are broken, they should call Toronto Hydro immediately.


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