Working and playing outdoors
Cleaning out eaves troughs, pruning trees, erecting flag poles, decorating for the holidays, and painting are all seasonal activities that require precautions. Regardless of the activity, safety is a practice for all seasons.
Digging on your property also requires caution. Due to the depth of underground wires, you won't encounter them when planting flowers and shrubs. However, before digging post holes, deck supports or anything that needs to go below the frost line, always call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to get a locate done and acquire a clearance certificate for the location of underground high voltage wires and/or gas lines.
Here are some tips to help keep you safe when working outdoors:
- Call ON1Call at 1-800-400-2255 before you dig or drive a post.
- Always check the location of overhead wires in relation to where you are working.
- Keep ladders and poles away from hydro wires.
- Carry ladders and poles horizontally when moving them from one location to another.
- Never climb trees near hydro wires.
- Keep outdoor electrical connections above the ground, and away from rain, puddles and snow.
- Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) on all outdoor outlets.
- Always use a three-pronged extension cord for outdoor connections. Two-pronged cords are for indoor use only.
- Use electric lawnmowers on dry grass only and never mow the lawn with an electric mower when it's raining.
- Keep outdoor outlets covered when not in use.
- Keep leaves and other debris away from outdoor lighting and other electrical items.
Hydro wires and trees
Alectra Utilities is committed to providing safe, reliable electrical services to the homes and businesses within our service territory. Our ability to do this can be affected by trees and other greenery located in close proximity to power lines and other electrical equipment. Trees growing too close to power lines can create a public safety hazard as well as cause interruption in electrical service to near by homes.
Sometimes trees grow through and around live hydro wires. This can be dangerous and can pose a serious risk of electrocution to anyone trimming the tree - or to children playing near by or climbing the tree.
Our forestry crews routinely patrol our lines to ensure that branches do not interfere with electrical services, however Alectra Utilities is not responsible for tree trimming on private properties. If you are concerned that a tree is growing too close to power lines or other electrical equipment, please contact us. Our trained experts can assess your situation and will provide advice on how to proceed safely.
- If you have tree branches on your property that are coming into contact with power lines, hire a licensed arborist and contact us to temporarily disconnect the power in that area before doing any work. Do not try to trim them yourself!
- If you notice that tree branches are coming into contact with power lines on city property, please contact us and we will make arrangements to have these trees trimmed.
- When planting a tree, research the full size that it will grow to at maturity. Avoid locations near overhead and underground power lines. Always call ON1Call at 1-800-400-2255 before you dig!
Access to outdoor electrical equipment
When planting flowerbeds and shrubbery around your home, remember to keep the area around electric meters and pad-mounted transformers clear so that we have easy access.
For safety reasons, Alectra Utilities needs approximately one metre (3 feet) of clear, flat area directly in front of your meter. If you already have bushes or trees planted in front of your meter, please trim them back or, if possible, remove them altogether.
If the meter is located inside your home and our meter reader has been unable to gain access, he will leave a card to let you know we need a reading. Please use this card to assist you in reading your meter and contact us as soon as possible so that we can record your electricity usage.
Pad-mounted transformers, commonly known as green boxes, are key components in our electrical distribution system. If you live in a home that has a pad-mounted transformer on your property, be aware that Alectra Utilities relies on you to keep the area around the transformer unobstructed and clear of vegetation. This will help us reduce the outages in your neighbourhood.
Pad-mounted transformers require a minimum clearance of 3 metres in front of the transformer and at least 1.5 metres on the sides in order for our crews to gain access to electrical components inside the box for maintenance or emergency work.
If you have questions, contact us before you begin any landscaping, fencing, plant removal, or construction near a transformer.