Electricity makes soil around grow ops dangerous ground

CALGARY - - Police have issued a public warning about the potential of grow-ops to create live earth in the wake of a pair of fires at separate drug operations.

Grow operators often bypass electricity to steal power and help them avoid detection, say cops, however it can lead to danger for residents of the home, plus neighbours and anyone else who steps foot on the property.

One of the recent fires happened in the 200 block of Templeview Way N.E. on Aug. 24 and the second in the 0-100 block of Saddleridge Cl. N.E. on Sept. 6.

The ground around at least one of the grow-ops became live, allegedly due to the grow operator tampering with the electricity supply.

Witnesses at the Temple location said they saw the ground sparking and on fire near the house and an electrical engineer determined the ground around the illegal connection would have been live with electricity.

The grow operators at the sites of both recent fires were using the same connector to bypass electricity, said police.

While electrical bypasses may be tricky to spot, police are asking Calgarians to keep an eye out for other signs of illegal drug operations in their communities.

These signs include excessive humidity, sweating on the house exterior, condensation on the windows and moisture at the foundation.

As well, lack of lawn and sidewalk upkeep, lights on timers, presence of heavy deodorizers, loud exhaust fans, “skunky” odours, no garbage put out on designated collection days, guard dogs, multiple security measures or ‘Keep Out’ signs.

Lastly, a common sign of a grow operation is people coming and going at odd times and staying for short periods of time, say police.


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