Utilities Kingston issues powerline warnings after street parties

A partygoer climbing a streetlight at one of the unsanctioned University District street parties. Submitted photo.

Utilities Kingston has issued a public safety reminder to always stay away from power lines after reports of individuals climbing streetlight poles – close to powerlines – during an unsanctioned street party this past weekend.

“We want the public to be aware of the serious safety risk that was created this past weekend. It could have had a much different outcome. Climbing or otherwise interfering with utility poles, lines and equipment can have deadly consequences,” said Jim Miller, Chief Operating Officer of Utilities Kingston. “You don’t have to touch a high or residential voltage powerline to be injured or killed. Getting too close to a powerline can kill you or cause serious injury.” 

In a release dated Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, Utilities Kingston reminds everyone to stay away from (and off) hydro and streetlight poles, lines and equipment 

“Don’t turn a party into peril. Tampering with utility equipment can be deadly!” the utility company stated, before sharing these reminders:

  • Stay back three metres from powerlines. You don’t have to touch a powerline to get a deadly shock. Electricity can jump or “arc” to you if you get too close. Getting too close to a powerline can kill you or cause serious injury. Contact with a residential voltage of 120 volts can be just as lethal as higher voltages. 
  • Powerlines can be deadly! Assume any utility line has electricity flowing through it, even if it isn’t sparking, or if you think it might be a telecommunications line. 
  • If you see people getting close to utility lines, tell them to stay well back. 
  • Do not interfere with poles, lines and other utility equipment. Tampering with or climbing utility equipment can create an immediate safety risk for yourself, the public and/or utility workers.
  • Always look up and look out for powerlines. Stay off utility poles and equipment, roof tops, vehicles, trees and other areas that put you in close proximity to utility lines and equipment. 

To report downed powerlines or other utility concerns, call 613-546-1181, 24 hours per day. Get more powerline safety tips.

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