Electrical Safety for Emergency First Responders

Each year in Canada, more than 1,000 contacts are made with energized power lines and equipment by heavy equipment, vehicles, trees, etc. Electrical contacts and substation break-ins often require a response from police, fire departments, or medical personnel. If these emergency first responders do not understand the hazards that may be present around energized lines and equipment, they could be seriously injured or killed.

For this reason Electricity Canada, in partnership with the RCMP, produced an electrical safety video for emergency first responders. "Electricity the Invisible Killer" provides electrical safety guidance to those dedicated men and women who respond to incidents involving high voltage facilities. Please take the time to watch the 20 minute video, "Electricity: The Invisible Killer - Emergency First Responders".  Warning: contains graphic accident scenes and scenarios.

Steps to take when encountering an incident involving electrical contact:

  1. Perform a scene survey
  2. Assess the hazards
  3. Do not become a casualty
  4. Take control
  5. Treat the power line as energized
  6. Stay a minimum of 10 metres away
  7. Keep others away
  8. Contact the electric utility