Three FortisBC representatives were part of the mock demonstration (Connor Trembley- Kelowna Capital News)

Ninty-four natual gas pipelines damaged in Kelowna over the past 18 months

FortisBC held an event on Wednesday to raise awareness about safety

Over the past year-and-a-half there have been 94 accidents involving natural gas pipelines throughout Kelowna, according to Fortis BC.

In an attempt to reduce that number, FortisBC held an event on Wednesday to raise awareness about safety precautions individuals can take around natural gas pipelines and electrical power lines.

READ MORE: FortisBC to offer free energy efficiency assessments for small businesses

“Every year at Fortis, we want to be able to share electrical safety with our first responders, our police and contractors,” said Fortis BC operation supervisor Benton Hadley.

“When you’re working around electricity, you need to understand the safety hazards located around you.”

According to FortisBC, a voltage at or above 50 volts starts to damage internal organs in humans so it’s critical that people understand the dangers.

While locating safety hazards is the first step to avoid making a tragic mistake, Hadley highlighted that safety insulation clothing like 30,000 volt-resistant rubber gloves is another way workers can reduce the likelihood of getting electrocuted while on the job.

Hadley said highways were another area where people commonly get electrocuted throughout Canada.

“Walking up to a car accidents involving a downed power line is dangerous because you can’t see the electricity and you can’t hear it,” he said.

“If somebody was to walk up and touch that car, then the electricity goes from the car to them and then to the ground.”

During the event, Fortis put together four mock scenarios to show how energy can be transferred through different materials and how officials can detect natural gas lines before they start digging.

If you plan to dig around your property or in a commercial area, residents are asked to call FortisBC to get information about the infrastructure that’s underground.

To learn more about safety precautions visit the FortisBC website.


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