Top 5 Ways to Stay Safe When Working in Your Yard This Spring
April 10, 2017
We're not going to jinx things by saying that a certain season may have sprung (we know better in Saskatchewan), but we do think that it's probably a good time for a little refresher on yard safety.
Most people don't think of their own yards as dangerous, but that's exactly why the risk of harm is there. With a little care and attention, you can reduce the risk of a serious accident to you or someone you care about.
Here are the top 5 yard safety tips for spri... err... the slightly warmer season.
Watch for overhead lines
No doubt you've already thought about a yard project or ten that you need to get to this year. Maybe you need to do some work on the roof or to get building that treehouse you promised the kids four summers ago.
No matter what you do, always remember to look up and live. Coming in contact with a power line can cause serious injury or even death. If you're moving a ladder, replacing shingles or doing anything else up high, take a few minutes to check your surroundings, both up and down.
Click Before You Dig
Thinking about putting a new fence in this year? Maybe you're planning some landscaping, extending the deck, building a shed, or putting in a new footpath?
If you plan to dig in your yard for any reason, contact Sask 1st Call to mark your underground lines before your work begins. It's free and they will mark all your lines at once (power, gas, comm, etc.) within two full business days. Remember that ground can shift and soil can erode, so even if you've had your lines marked recently and you think you know where they are, we ask you to get them marked again (locates are valid for ten days). For each type of underground line there is a prescribed tolerance zone near the underground equipment that requires safe digging practices. You must dig carefully by hand to expose underground equipment for the length of your project area when working within that tolerance zone. You are also required to follow legal guidelines for operating mechanical equipment near the lines within that zone. For more information, and to request a line locate, go to:
- Download the Sask 1st Call App
- Call 1-866-828-4888
SaskPower equipment – keep access clear, don't climb/play/build/plant around it
People ask us all the time if they can cover up the power pedestal or transformer in their backyard (those green power boxes). Sorry, the boxes might not match the décor theme you are going for, but they cannot be covered. Transformers can overheat and that can lead to a power outage. Our crews also need to be able to access all transformers and pedestals 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Please keep fences, sheds, trees shrubs and water fountains at least three metres from the door of a transformer. If you have a pole in the yard, please keep that clear. That means no birdfeeders or wind chimes!
Tree trimming and planting
Planting the right tree in the right place is the best way to make sure you won't have a problem later on. It's hard to imagine when you put that tiny seed or sapling in the ground, but some trees can grow very tall and threaten nearby power lines years down the road. Trees touching power lines are both a safety and an outage risk.
Info on our website will help guide you in planting when power lines are nearby. Remember to never attempt to trim a tree near a power line yourself – trees can conduct power too! Call us at 1-888-757-6937 and we'll come out and do it for free.
Educate your kids on safe play when electricity is nearby
Lastly, make sure to educate your kids about the dangers of playing around electrical equipment. Show them the pedestals and transformers and make sure they stay clear. Do the same with power poles and power lines. We all know kids are curious so please make sure to educate them on the risks.
Remember, don't place pools – even temporary pools – or hot tubs underneath power lines. Make sure your kids can't reach power lines from structures like decks, tree houses and sheds.
"Coming in contact with a power line can cause serious injury or even death. If you're moving a ladder, replacing shingles or doing anything else up high, take a few minutes to check your surroundings, both up and down."
"If you plan to dig in your yard for any reason, contact Sask 1st Call to mark your underground lines before your work begins. It's free and they will mark all your lines at once (power, gas, comm, etc.) within two full business days."
"It's hard to imagine when you put that tiny seed or sapling in the ground, but some trees can grow very tall and threaten nearby power lines years down the road."