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Safety Tips

Call or Click Before You Dig

There could be electrical cable buried below you. If you are working on a project that involves digging underground, always call before your dig at 1-800-242-3447 or go to
For additional electrical information please call 311.


Transformers Around Property

(Green boxes)
As you have probably noticed, there are green electrical boxes located throughout the city.  The green boxes ensure that you will always have power in your home. Although they might not be very aesthetically pleasing, it is important that you don’t hide them with trees or shrubs, because or electrical crews needs to access them.  (This transformer is not accessible due to overgrown vegetation).


Please maintain clearance of these boxes on your property and keep shrubs and structures 12 feet (3.75 metres) away from the front and 3 feet (1m) away from other sides. If trees or shrubs grow too close and the box is no longer accessible, they will need to be removed. (This transformer has clear access with no obstructing vegetation).

Keep Out!

There is hazardous voltage inside the green boxes.  You might get shocked, burned or killed if you tamper with them.  If you find a box that is open or unlocked, please call 311 and report the location to our electric department.  Our crews will be dispatched to safely close or fix the boxes.

Overhead Service Wires

Myth: Birds land on wires, so they must be safe to touch. Not true – birds don’t get electrocuted when they land on wires because they don’t represent a path to ground. Electricity wants nothing more than to go to ground and will always do so by the easiest most direct route. A bird on a wire doesn’t give electricity anywhere to go but back to the wire – easier for the current to stay right where it is in the wire and continue on its way.

Myth: Power lines are insulated, so they’re safe to touch – not so fast. Many overhead power lines are insulated only to a level to prevent problems from incidental tree contact. They are usually not fully insulated to prevent injury to people.

Myth: As long as my ladder isn’t touching the line, I’m safe – maybe. Depends on how far away your ladder and you are from the line. Electricity can jump and often does when a potential conductor like a metal ladder comes within a certain proximity. Be safe, and keep well away – at least ten feet – from overhead power lines.

Maintaining limites of approach for safety around power lines.


No part of a flooded installation can be assumed safe, not even the main breaker. Before the equipment is tested or worked on, all power should be disconnected at the service panel with the main switch being left in the “off” position until work has been completed. In the event that flood water has risen above outlets, covers power cords, or is near the service panel contact 311 to disconnect power to your home. Once power has been turned off or disconnected a licensed electrician should be contacted to determine if electrical equipment (wires, plugs) need to be replaced.


Do not plug in or attempt to use electrical appliances that have been wet until they have been checked or serviced by an electrician or service agency. Ask your electrician, or contact the manufacturer or dealer for the nearest service location.