Tips to stay safe during snow and bitter cold this weekend

January 18, 2019

Tips to stay safe during snow and bitter cold this weekend

With snow and bitterly cold temperatures expected this weekend, we would like to remind the public about the following safety tips. 

Heavy accumulations of snow and ice can bring trees and branches down onto powerlines and cause issues with utility equipment. Know who to call in case of a power outage, and how to identify and report a water main break. Keep snow and ice from building up on outdoor water, gas and electrical equipment, such as utility meters and outdoor exhaust vents; and be aware of the dangers presented by carbon monoxide.

Report issues to our 24-hour phone line

Kingston is served by three electricity companies. Know who provides your electricity services, so you can call the right provider

Report utility issues in the Utilities Kingston service area to our 24-hour emergency line at 613-546-1181, and check our outage map for updates at www.UtilitiesKingston.com/Outages

Hydro One electricity customers in the west and east ends of Kingston can call 1-800-434-1235. Union Gas customers can call 1-877-969-0999. 

Report water main breaks

Extreme temperature fluctuations can expand and contract materials, thereby stressing the pipes and causing cracks. If you see water bubbling out of the ground or running down the road, there might be a water main break.

Please call it in to our 24-hour line at 613-546-1181 so that our crews can respond quickly. Don't rely on social media to report utility emergencies!

Powerline emergencies and power outages

Heavy accumulations of snow and ice can bring trees and branches down onto powerlines causing power outages and electrically-charged hazards.

  • If you see a downed power line or tree branch that has fallen on a power line, always assume it still has electricity flowing through it, even if it isn’t sparking.
  • Stay back at least 10 metres or 33 feet (that’s about the length of a school bus) and don’t touch anything metal (such as guard rails) in the area.
  • Report it immediately by calling 911 or our emergency line at 613-546-1181. This line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • If a power line falls on your car, the car and the ground around it may be electrified and you could be killed if you get out of the vehicle. Stay inside until the utility workers tell you it’s safe to get out. Tell everyone to stay back 10 metres or 33 feet.

Gently clear snow from equipment

Protect your home and health: 

  • Keep snow and ice from building up on outdoor water, gas and electrical equipment, such as utility meters and outdoor exhaust vents. We also appreciate community members who help keep fire hydrants and catch basins cleared of snow and ice – thank you! Get more winter safety tips.
  • Never attempt to clear ice from around electrical lines yourself. Keep your eaves troughs free of debris so water runs safely away before it freezes. Ice can build up where overhead electrical service wires attach to your home—a dangerous and costly situation. Consider that the root of the problem may be poor attic insulation.

The dangers of carbon monoxide

While natural gas is a safe fuel, you should know the dangers of carbon monoxide. 

Prevent problems with frozen plumbing

Our online resources helps explain the risk factors for freezing pipes and explains steps that building owners can take to help prevent this from occurring. As well, we explain the processes and responsibilities involved if your water service does freeze. Review Frozen Water Services

For more information on keeping your home and family safe, visit our webpage about winter safety.