To create awareness about the need for safety around high-voltage transmission lines, Evolugen, by Brookfield Renewable, has developed a brochure outlining safety around the lines in the qathet region.
Harvin Narayan, senior manager, operations, Evolugen, said the reason for the brochure is the company wanted to get the message out to the community and remind people of the importance regarding safety around transmission lines.
“It’s an invisible threat so it’s good to remind people,” said Narayan. “It is something people need to be constantly aware of in whatever activities that happen around transmission lines.
“If members of the public see anything, it’s always in the best interests of everybody to be aware and to report anything that doesn’t look normal. We have phone numbers on all of the signs on the transmission line poles, so if anybody sees anything that doesn’t look right, they should call the number and report it.”
Injuries and deaths have happened around transmission lines. Online statistics indicate about 400 deaths per year in North America are due to high voltage electrical injuries.
“That is why we emphasize educating the public through signage, public communication and our website, because we want to ensure the public understands the dangers,” said Narayan.
According to the brochure, Evolugen operates high-voltage transmission lines that carry electricity between the Lois Lake and Townsite generating facilities. The transmission corridor crosses through Townsite, behind Powell River Recreation Complex and across Padgett Road through to Stillwater. Evolugen stated that people living near the line or who travel through the corridor should familiarize themselves with the brochure to ensure safety.
The brochure states that line voltage is 600 times greater than that of a regular home outlet. Anyone who goes within five metres of one of Evolugen’s lines could be electrocuted without even touching one. It is also extremely dangerous to be in contact with an object that is within five metres of the lines, even if that object is not touching a line, according to Evolugen.
Those in the vicinity of the transmission lines are urged to be aware because the height of the cables varies with electrical load and weather conditions.
“Please stay away from towers and lines,” stated Evolugen. “If an overhead cable or tower is damaged or downed, or something touches a cable, it is an emergency. Stay back and dial 911.”
According to Evolugen, in the qathet region, the company owns or has rights of way over the full length of its transmission corridor and under the lines, between the metal towers. The rights of way vary between 30 and 60 metres in width.
Evolugen restricts certain activities and structures to ensure people’s safety and the proper functioning of the lines.
The brochure outlines a number of restrictions in the categories of property development, sports, games and leisure, and vehicles and heavy equipment.
Evolugen stresses the importance of letting children know the dangers of going near electrical cables or climbing towers.
“Explain that it is important to obey signs warning of danger and that they should never fly kites near power lines,” stated Evolugen. “To ensure our safety and better serve our customers, Evolugen maintains the corridor and regularly inspects the high-voltage lines and corridors. By following safety rules, you will protect your family and reduce the risk to our employees when they are at work. The safety of the public and employees are a top priority at Evolugen.”