Reminders to stay safe around powerlines

May 10, 2019

Reminders to stay safe around powerlines

Utilities Kingston is offering reminders on how to stay safe around powerlines – and downed powerlines – during Powerline Safety Week, May 13-19.

Knowing what to do in an electrical emergency such as downed powerlines could save your life. Even getting too close to a powerline can kill you or cause serious injury.  To mark Powerline Safety Week, please take a few moments to share and discuss these safety tips with your loved ones.

Did you know you don’t need to touch a powerline to get hurt?  Electricity can jump to you or your tools if you get too close! You and your tools should always be at least three metres (10 feet) away from powerlines.  If you absolutely have to work near a powerline, you can contact Utilities Kingston at 613-546-0000 to have it temporarily de-energized.


Downed powerlines can be deadly! If you see one, assume it still has electricity flowing through it, even if it isn’t sparking.  Stay at least 10 metres (the length of a school bus) away and call 9-1-1 immediately and call Utilities Kingston’s emergency line at 613-546-1181. This line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If a downed powerline falls on your car, do not leave the vehicle.  The ground around it may be electrified and you could be killed if you get out. Stay inside until utility workers tell you it’s safe to get out. Tell everyone to stay back 10 metres or 33 feet. Learn more about electrical emergencies.


Below are some other powerline safety tips to help you stay safe as you work around your home and play outdoors.

Working around the home:

  • Check for powerlines before cleaning eavestroughs or pruning trees.
  • Carry ladders horizontally, never vertically – and look up and look out for overhead powerlines before putting them up.
  • When digging, whether in your garden or for fence posts or deck supports, call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to get a free locate of underground utility equipment.
  • Plant the right tree in the right place

Playing outdoors:

  • Look up before flying kites or climbing trees. Never fly a kite or climb a tree near powerlines. Look for open areas instead.
  • Never play on utility equipment, including the ‘green boxes’ you see on your street. Children should be reminded: if you see equipment with open doors or other issues, tell your mom and dad and have them report it to us by calling our emergency line at 613-546-1181. This line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.