As BC Hydro reports an increase in downed power lines over the last five years, the company also found a third of British Columbians don’t know what to do when they see one.
The increased severity and frequency of storms in the province has caused nearly 65 per cent post downed power lines in the last half-decade. Meanwhile, nearly 60 per cent of B.C. residents don’t know that a downed power line should be reported to 911. Nearly a quarter of British Columbians weren’t sure how far away they should stay away from the damaged power line, and another 35 per cent incorrectly thought they would be able to tell a power line was live because it would make a sound or smoke. Others didn’t know how to tell if a power line is live.
In 2017, BC Hydro responded to almost 10,000 reports of damaged or downed power lines — up from 6,100 reports in 2013.
So what are the correct answers?
BC Hydro says people should stay 10 metres away from a downed power line. That’s about the length of a city bus. Next, you should call 911 to report the issue. Help others know about the line and stay a safe distance away until BC Hydro can address the problem.