BC Hydro is asking the public to be on the lookout for suspicious activity around power lines after two dangerous incidents in Surrey on Sunday.
Thieves risked death or serious injury when they used chainsaws to cut down power poles on two separate properties. The perpetrators brought the poles down to strip the transformers of their copper.
Metal theft is a huge concern for BC Hydro and affects the safety of the public as well. Not only that, but incidents like this one have an impact on the reliability of the electrical system.
According to a release by BC Hydro, the electrical equipment attached to the first power pole was de-energized, but the equipment attached to the other pole was energized.
The power line had 25,000 volts of electricity running through it when it was brought down, causing a grass fire– something that could have easily been life threatening.
BC Hydro wants to remind the public it is never safe to assume any electrical equipment is de-energized. They say a downed power line is dangerous and should be treated as an emergency.
They advise the public to stay back at least 10 metres – the length of a standard bus – and dial 911 immediately if they witness any such occurrence.
BC Hydro is working with the RCMP to investigate these incidents.