Electricity Safety

Safety comes first, always.

In everything we do, our priority is the safety of our customers and our employees. Day or night, 30°C or -40°C, you can count on us to respond to electrical outages or emergencies. We'll also provide you with information on how to stay safe around electricity, whether you are on a construction site, at work or at home.

 

Tips & Resources

  • Downed power line safety
    • Always be on the lookout for fallen or sagging wires, especially after storms.
    • Stay at least 10 metres away from downed power lines or damaged facilities.
    • Notify Northland Utilities immediately. In Kakisa, Dory Point, Fort Providence, Sambaa K’e, Wekweeti, Hay River, Enterprise and the K’at’lodeeche First Nation, call 867-874-6879 or 1-800-264-5313 (toll free). In Yellowknife and N’Dilo, call 867-873-4865.
    • Keep everyone away from the area.
  • Vehicle contact

    If you hit a power line with your vehicle:

    • Break the contact, if you can. Drive at least 10 metres away.
    • Stay put and keep others 10 metres back.
    • Call 911 for help.
    • If you must exit your vehicle, JUMP. Then shuffle or hop with your feet together. Don’t step!
    • Don’t touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. 
  • Call before you dig

    Planting a tree, building a deck or digging a pond? Before you start, call us to mark the location of underground power lines. It’s a free service.

    Your yard and property may have underground power lines running underground, and they may be closer to the surface than you think. As soil moves, changes or erodes, a line can be just a few inches below the surface.

    Steps to Safe Digging:

    1. Call Before You Dig. Call us to request the location of underground power lines in your work area be marked. This is a free service. Call us at least two days before you start digging, and sooner during the busy spring season. The approximate location of underground power lines will be marked with red flags or temporary paint. In Kakisa, Dory Point, Fort Providence, Sambaa K’e, Wekweeti, Hay River, Enterprise and the K’at’lodeeche First Nation, call 867-874-6879 or 1-800-264-5313 (toll free). In Yellowknife and N’Dilo, call 867-873-4865.
    2. Plan Your Work Area: Avoid digging within one metre of either side of the locate markings if possible.  
    3. Dig Safely: If you must dig near the markings, dig gradually and carefully with a shovel.

     

    You can face serious consequences for hitting a power line, including loss of service to your homes, paying expensive repair costs and serious injury or fatality.

  • Look up and live

    Working near power lines can be extremely dangerous. When planning your work, driving large equipment or moving a tall load, be sure to look up and live.  Always stay at least 7 metres back of overhead power lines.

    If you contact a power line, follow these steps to stay safe:  

    1. Move the equipment away from the power line to break contact and call local emergency services to report the incident.
    2. If contact can’t be broken, remain on the machine and call local emergency services. If there is no other immediate danger, the safest place for you to be is on the machine. Warn anyone nearby to stay back at least 10 meters back.
    3. If there is a fire, jump off the machine with both feet together. Never touch the machine and the ground at the same time.
    4. Once clear of the machine, shuffle away, never allowing the heel of one foot to move beyond the toe of the other. Do this until you’re at least 10 metres (33 feet) away. Call emergency personnel to report the incident.
  • 7 steps to safety

    Working near power lines can be extremely dangerous.  If you are planning any work or recreation close to power lines, be sure to review the following:

     

    10 Metres To Safety

    Stay back at least 10 metres or 33 feet from any downed power line, exposed underground cable, or where there is contact with an overhead power line.  Depending on voltage, this distance may increase up to 32 metres or 105 feet. 

    Where's The Line

    Workers who operate machinery or equipment that could come in contact with overhead or underground power lines need to look up and check for overhead power lines, or obtain underground locates (see 6) before beginning work. 

    Know Your Limits

    When operating machinery or equipment in close proximity to power lines, always maintain the limits of approach: from 3 to 7 metres or 10-23 feet depending on the voltage.  For proper safe working distances contact Northwest Territories' Workers Safety Compensation Commission (WSCC) at 867-920-3888 or 1-800-661-0792.  In keeping with the Northwest Territories' OH&S Code, if equipment COULD come closer than the minimum distances, you must contact Northland Utilities before beginning work.

    Don’t Hang Around Operating Equipment

    Stay at least 10 metres or 33 feet away from equipment operating near power lines because if it contacts an energized line, the electricity will go to the ground.  The operator should be on the vehicle with everyone else clear of the vehicle when a boom is in motion.  If you must approach, ensure the equipment is not operating.

    Shuffle Or Hop, Don’t Step

    If the machinery you are operating contacts an energized line, move it away from the line to break contact.  If this can’t be done, remain on the machine.  If there is an uncontrollable fire, jump off the machine keeping your feet together.  Never contact the machine and the ground at the same time.  Once clear of the machine, shuffle away, never allowing the heel of one foot to move beyond the toe of the other, or, hop with both feet together to a minimum distance of 10 metres or 33 feet. 

    Call Before You Dig

    Before you dig or drill you must determine the location of all underground services.  Call Northland Utilities before you dig.  In Kakisa, Dory Point, Fort Providence, Sambaa K’e, Wekweeti, Hay River, Enterprise and the K’at’lodeeche First Nation, call 867-874-6879 or 1-800-264-5313 (toll free). In Yellowknife and N’Dilo, call 867-873-4865.  If a cable is accidentally dug up, call Northland Utilities immediately.  Move the digger bucket clear of the cable and stay out of the trench.  If the machine can’t be moved, keep workers 10 metres or 33 feet away and have the operator remain on the vehicle.  In the case of fire, follow the “Shuffle or Hop, Don’t Step” rule.

    Don’t Become A Victim

    Always call your local emergency services when someone is injured in an electrical accident.  If they are still in contact with the electrical source and you touch them, you could be seriously injured or killed.  Keep everyone back, a minimum distance of 10 metres or 33 feet and have someone call for help immediately.

  • Holiday safety

    We hope your holiday season is merry and bright. During the holidays and always, please remember to use electricity safely.

    • Inspect all cords and lights before use and replace any that are damaged or old.
    • Protect cords from damage. Cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors or windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources or attached by nails or staples.
    • Only use or buy decorations for the intended use: outdoors or indoors.
    • Purchase electrical products that display a label indicating it has undergone independent testing by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
    • When it comes to hanging outdoor lights, look up to ensure the ladder you are using is clear of any power lines. 
    • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness to decrease fire risk.
    • Do not use metallic ornaments on your tree to reduce the risk of shock.
    • Do not overload electrical outlets.
    • Turn off all indoor and outdoor holiday lighting before leaving the house or going to bed.
    • Never allow children to play with lights, electrical decorations or cords.