New Brunswick

High snowbanks and power lines don't mix, NB Power warns

While it might make for a cool picture to stand on a high snowbank, NB Power is warning people across the province not to get too close to power lines.

NB Power advises people to stay 10 metres — or the length of a bus — away

After seeing pictures like this on social media, NB Power is warning against getting too close to power lines. (Radio-Canada Acadie/Twitter)

While it might make for a cool picture to stand atop a high snowbank, NB Power is warning people across the province not to get too close to power lines.

Even if a line isn't touched, an electric current can occur and cause serious injury, the utility says.

"What can happen is once you approach an overhead line you don't necessarily have to touch it to get an electrical shock, an electrical arc can occur," NB Power spokesperson Sheila Lagacé said Wednesday.

NB Power posted a warning on social media after seeing pictures of people standing on top of high drifts and high snowbanks after recent storms, she said. 

"Even staff in our regional office in the Acadian Peninsula called to notify about those big snowdrifts and the power lines that were very close to it, so we put out that post." 

Safety first

NB Power says you don't have to touch a power line, to get a shock and be seriously injured. People should keep a bus length away from them. (NB Power/Facebook)

Safety is paramount for all, Lagacé said, so NB Power wanted to remind people to stay a certain distance from power lines. 

With water making up about half the human body, a person would be a conductor of electricity and would act like a grounded object, she said. 

"When that person is too close to the power line or the live conductor, there's a risk of getting an electrical shock,  especially when the voltage is high." 

Lagacé said high voltage electricity can jump. 

"For example, kids are playing in wet snow — that can create a dangerous situation." 

The best thing to do is to stay 10 metres away — or the length of a bus, she said. 

If high snowbanks are a concern, NB Power will work with the proper officials to have them removed. 

But the best thing to do, Lagacé said, is to stay away and stay safe.