News | September 24, 2018

Electrical Safety Authority Working With Utilities, Licensed Electrical Contractors To Safely Restore Power In The Wake Of Storm

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is working closely with local utilities and Licensed Electrical Contractors to restore power in the Ottawa-Dunrobin area as safely and as quickly as possible.

"Public safety is ESA's top priority," said Scott Saint, Chief Public Safety Officer, ESA. "ESA recognizes the significant disruption a sustained power outage has on daily life. Our Inspectors are working closely with utilities and Licensed Electrical Contractors to ensure storm damaged homes are reconnected in a safe manner to avoid the risk of electrical shock or fire, or further property damage."

Severe storms can cause widespread damage to powerlines and hydro poles owned by the utility. ESA works closely with utilities to ensure necessary repairs are made and power is restored in a safe manner.

Storms can also cause damage to the equipment owned by customers that connects their homes to the electricity grid. Licensed Electrical Contractors are the only ones authorized to repair this type of customer-owned equipment. ESA works closely with Licensed Electrical Contractors to ensure homes can be reconnected to the electricity grid in a safe manner, avoiding the risk of shock or fire.

If your home's electrical connection is damaged, you need to contact a Licensed Electrical Contractor to make any necessary repairs. You can find one near you at ESA Contractor Lookup.

Looking for Damage to Electrical Service

  • Typically, a homeowner's ownership of electrical equipment begins where the wires attach to the house. This includes the electrical service mast and the wires in it;
  • Check to see if the mast is pulled away from the wall, broken, or detached from the meter base. Look for wires sagging down;
  • If you see this or suspect any damage, contact a Licensed Electrical Contractor to check it and make necessary repairs.

Getting Repairs Done 
Only Licensed Electrical Contractors can be hired to do residential electrical repairs. They will take out permits with the Electrical Safety Authority so that inspection can occur and an official record of the work is generated.

Hiring a handyman or anyone other than a Licensed Electrical Contractor will result in delays in having your power restored.

  • Once you have hired a Licensed Electrical Contractor:
    •  The contractor will file for a permit with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) so there is a record of the work;
    • When contractors complete repairs, they will notify ESA and the ESA Inspector will confirm work has been done safely;
    • The contractor will get a copy of the ESA certificate of inspection. Homeowners, you should get a copy of this from the contractor or ESA for your insurance company.

Cleaning up after the Storm
When attempting to clean up after the storm please follow these tips:

  • Downed powerlines may be live and are extremely dangerous. Stay back at least 10 metres (33 feet). Electricity can travel through water and the ground around powerlines;
  • Call 911 and the local electricity distribution company to report any downed lines. Remain well back;
  • Please wait until the power is disconnected or powerlines are repaired before starting yard cleanup – downed powerlines may be hidden beneath debris and tree branches.
  • For more information on these and other electrical safety topics go to www.esasafe.com.

SOURCE: Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)