Electric Safety

Electrical safety hazards exist in almost every home and workplace. It is important to take precautions to identify and control electrical hazards that create potential or actual threats to the well-being of people, equipment, or the environment. Please visit the sites below for helpful electrical safety tips.
Before deciding to work with electricity, make sure to have a thorough knowledge of how electricity works. The City of Hamilton recommends consulting with and/or hiring a licensed electric contractor, especially for activities that require more than a minimal knowledge of electricity.
Downed Power Lines
Always assume that any downed wire is an energized power line and respond accordingly. There is no safe way to tell if a downed power line is energized based solely upon looking at it or even if it is a telephone wire or television cable. 

To find out more information on what to do if there are downed power lines, view Downed Power Lines (PDF)

If you come across a person receiving an electric shock:
  • Assess the situation - never put yourself at risk - and take precautions to protect yourself and anyone else in the vicinity.
  • Call 911 for help.
  • If the victim is in contact with electrical current, do not touch the victim or the electrical source; current can pass through you also.
  • If possible, interrupt current by shutting off the electrical supply at the circuit breaker or fuse box.
  • Do not attempt to move the victim unless they are in further danger; if necessary and no shut off is immediately available, use a non-conducting item to move the victim, such as a wooden broomstick, blanket, or rope. 
  • If the victim is holding onto a wire or other conductor, attempt to knock their hand(s) free with a stick or dry towel.
  • If the victim is unconscious, check to see if they are breathing and have a pulse; administer first aid and begin rescue breathing and/or CPR if required.
  • Cover the victim in a blanket and stay with them until medical assistance arrives.