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Safety Outside the Home

Electrical hazards are all around us. Whether you’re out for a walk or working in your backyard, we want to help you identify potential safety hazards and learn ways to keep you and your family safe while outside your home.

Electrical Safety Tips

Call Before You Dig

If you’re planning an outdoor project that involves digging, be sure to request a locate at least five business days before you want to start. A locate will identify underground hazards that may be hidden and could be exposed by even shallow digging. Locates are free and easy to request, and they are the law! Visit Ontario One Call’s website or call 1-800-400-2255 to request your locate today. Know what’s below and stay safe.

Are you looking for more information on Call Before You Dig? Watch the accompanying video for even more details.

Look Up and Look Out for Overhead Powerlines

Always be aware of your surroundings and know where overhead powerlines are on your property. Be sure to stay at least three metres (10 feet, or the length of two park benches) away from overhead powerlines at all times. Carry any equipment you have horizontally and watch for lines hidden in trees or by other plants.

Still looking for more information? Check out this video featuring Lucky the Squirrel.


  • When using ladders look up! Avoid contact with overhead wires and powerlines.
  • Stay at least 10 feet (3m) from all power lines.
  • Only use ladders on stable surfaces, and have someone hold the ladder when you are on it.


  • During a storm, avoid using appliances such as hairdryers, toasters and telephones (except in an emergency)
  • Avoid taking baths or showers.
  • Keep batteries on hand for flashlights and radios in case of a power outage
  • Use surge protectors on electronic devices, appliances, phones, and computers.

Safety Around the Yard

  • Do not use electric-powered lawnmowers and other electric tools in the rain, on wet grass or in wet conditions.
  • Electrical equipment is not a toy. Teach your children not to play on or around green transformer boxes and help keep your family safe.
  • Repair or replace any frayed or cracked power cords, or plugs on power tools and electric lawn mowers before use.
  • Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools.
  • Remember to unplug all power tools when they are not in use.
  • Keep electrical devices away from water.
  • If you need to prune or remove a tree near a powerline or a ground-level transformer box, call us before starting
  • If planting trees or shrubs around your home, be sure to plant the right tree in the right place. Remember that a small tree now could grow to be much larger later and potentially come into contact with overhead power lines. Plant trees and shrubs away from power lines.
  • Electricity and water don’t mix – do not use electrical appliances near pools, hot tubs, spas or other water sources
  • Need a temporary disconnect to safely perform maintenance on electrical equipment? 
    • For residents or businesses in Kitchener or Wilmot, submit your disconnect request before starting work. Click here to request your disconnect.
    • For residents or businesses in Waterloo, Wellesley or Woolwich, submit your disconnect request form before starting work.
Padmount Transformer copy

Additional Safety Resources

The Electrical Safety Authority has a dedicated online resource for homeowners, contractors and anyone working outside the home. Visit esasafe.com to find articles, resources pages, and tips designed to help keep you safe from electrical hazards.

For more information on electrical safety education and some of the educational resources we have available to you, visit our Electrical Safety Education Resources page.

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