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Customers reminded to stay clear of downed trees and power lines in severe weather

2014-11-20


Fredericton, (N.B.) – NB Power is reminding customers to be safe during winter storm season by staying clear of downed wires and waiting for professionals to remove tree limbs or lines damaged by severe weather.

"We work hard to keep our customers and employees safe all year round and during severe weather events. Part of this means educating customers about never approaching or touching a downed power line," said Gaëtan Thomas, President and CEO. "While electricity is essential to all of our lives, it can also be extremely dangerous, and touching a downed line could result in serious injury or death."

As part of Storm Preparedness Week, NB Power crews were joined by Saint John Energy and the Fredericton Fire Department today to demonstrate the importance of waiting for power line crews before anyone approaches downed lines, even in an emergency event.

The crews simulated two common wire-down scenarios at NB Power's training centre in Fredericton. First, a vehicle collision with power pole that causes a power line to come down, and second, a damaged tree on a power line. Crews demonstrated how they ensure an accident scene is safe for first responders to approach and how to safely leave the scene, and how experts remove trees from lines.

"If ever there is a downed line, report it to NB Power," added Thomas. "Everyone needs to assume that all power lines are energized and stay well away from them even during a storm. We should never attempt to remove damaged power lines or tree limbs from power lines because you never know where crews are working or reconnecting power and how it could affect the lines in question."

If you see a downed line:

  • Report downed lines to NB Power immediately at 1 800-663-6272.
  • Never contact or approach trees in contact with power lines.
  • Treat all downed lines as if they were energized. Stay at least 10m away from them and anything that they touch including puddles of water and fences.
  • Keep children inside and pets on a leash to prevent electric shock or electrocution.
  • Never attempt to repair damaged power lines or remove tree limbs from power lines.
  • If you see crews working on power lines, try to avoid their work area.

If your vehicle comes into contact with a downed line:

  • Stay where you are, if at all possible. It may be dangerous to exit from the vehicle.
  • If you can safely back the vehicle away from contact with the lines, do so.
  • Warn others to stay at least 10m clear of the power lines.
  • Have someone contact NB Power to de-energize the lines.

More storm preparedness tips are available on NB Power's website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Gerrish, Communications, 506-470-7676 or mgerrish@nbpower.com.