Living safely is a journey for all of us. We're here to help keep you safe when you’re around electricity.


Electricity can be dangerous. Keep these electrical-safety best practices about powerlines in mind.

Downed wires

Treat downed wires as live and dangerous. If you're near a wire, shuffle (keeping both feet touching the ground) until you are at least 20 metres away from the wires and call 9-1-1.

Powerline insulation 

Do not assume that power lines are insulated. The insulation can be worn through exposure to weather.

Don’t forget to look down

Some electrical equipment and power lines are underground. Before digging, contact us to get underground electrical locates.

Don’t put your life on the line

Stay away from our electrical equipment and infrastructure, including transmission towers, hydro dams, power lines, and substations. Respect all warning signs. Do not climb transmission towers or trespass on our property. Safety always comes first.

Safely connecting power

Safely connecting your power is our top priority. In preparation for your power connection, we ask that you take a few minutes to inspect your residence for any potential fire hazards. This includes any flammable material or liquid (e.g., paper, cardboard, hand sanitizer, cleaners) placed on or near stove heating elements or any appliance that will emit heat when your electricity comes back on.

It’s also a good idea to unplug sensitive appliances and equipment to avoid damage caused by potential power surges.


Tips To Keep You SafeTips To Work Safely
  • Install and operate generators properly.
  • Check electrical cords—if they're frayed or cracked, don't use them.
  • Don't overload electrical outlets—they can overheat and start a fire.
  • Never run cords under rugs or carpet.
  • Extension cords should only be used as a temporary source of power—they are not a safe, long-term solution.
  • Appliances, like irons or blow dryers, should always be unplugged when not in use and the cord coiled to prevent injury to children.
  • Always disconnect appliances before moving, cleaning, or repairing them.
  • Always unplug the toaster before cleaning or repairing it.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from water.
  • Always pull the plug, not the cord.
  • To keep children safe, block access to electrical outlets with plastic safety plugs.
  • Don’t let pets chew on electrical cords.
  • Identify possible problems by planning your actions from start to finish.
  • Think about possible sources of electricity—underground, overhead, or anywhere else around you.
  • Think about the tools and equipment you will be using that run on electricity.
  • Identify potential hazards and eliminate or minimize them.
  • Never assume something has been unhooked, unplugged, disconnected, or de-energized. Double-check and be sure.
  • Make sure you have the knowledge and skills you need to complete the job. If you don’t, find someone who does.


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Want to schedule an electrical safety presentation for your workplace or community? Call us at 1-800-428-6230 and request a safety presentation—we’d love to hear from you.

In and Around your vehicle

Stay put, stay safe

Three tips to keep you safe in the event you encounter a downed power line:

  1. Driving? Stay in your vehicle and call 9-1-1. Communicate clearly to others who may approach wanting to help you—warn them to stay away from your vehicle.
  2. If you must exit the vehicle, jump clear with both feet together. The metal on the vehicle may be carrying the electricity from the downed power line. If you touch the metal of the vehicle and the ground at the same time, your body becomes a path for the electricity to travel and you could be electrocuted. Jumping from the vehicle with both feet ensures there is no connection between the vehicle, you, and the ground.
  3. Once outside the vehicle, do not touch any part of the vehicle. Move away by shuffling both feet on the ground until you are at least 20 metres away from the downed power line.

Reminder: Tires are not insulators. Contact with high voltage may damage a rubber tire. The tire could fail immediately, in 15 minutes, or after several days, depending on the damage.

If your vehicle has come in contact with a down power line:

  • Do not drive the vehicle before carefully checking the tires.
  • Allow tires to cool for at least one hour before examining.
  • Have damaged tires inspected by a qualified tire facility.
  • Inspect hydraulic equipment.
  • Inspect computer equipment.

Learn more about our vehicle practices.






Generators can be a helpful backup power source during outages, but they must be installed and operated safely. All generators must be installed by a qualified electrician. The electrician must apply for a wiring permit and have the generator inspected by a Nova Scotia Power before it is used. See a list of qualified electricians and book an appointment with a Nova Scotia Power wiring inspector.


General Generator SafetyCarbon Monoxide Safety
  • Never feed power from your generator into a wall outlet or directly into your electrical system. This could allow power to back-feed into our system and result in severe injury or death to our employees.
  • When power is restored after an outage, it may feed directly into your generator, causing severe damage. To eliminate this dangerous situation, a transfer switch is required to be properly installed by a qualified electrician.
  • Carefully read the owner's manual before using your generator.
  • Never operate the generator indoors or in an enclosed space. Generators emit deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Operate outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area to prevent exhaust fumes from entering windows, doors and fresh air intake areas.
  • Operating your generator in wet conditions may cause electrocution. Avoid contact with the generator if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Check cords running from your generator to make sure they are in good condition, rated for outdoor use and ensure they are the proper wire gauge size for the appliance load.
  • Do not store fuel indoors or refuel your generator while it's running.
  • Carbon monoxide is a gas you cannot see or smell which is created by the combustion of fuels, such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane.
  • Every year, dozens of Nova Scotians are admitted to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning, and in some cases the poisoning is fatal. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headache, nausea, dizziness, and blurred vision.
  • There are many common sources of carbon monoxide, including vehicles, furnaces and blocked chimneys. Generators can also be a source, so it is essential that generators are installed properly, outside, and away from any potential point of entry that would allow fumes into your home or business.
  • All homes should have a carbon monoxide detector, particularly if you have a furnace, woodstove, generator, or garage. Carbon monoxide detectors are sold at most hardware and home supply stores.
  • For more information on carbon monoxide, the proper installation and use of detectors, and safety tips, please visit 811 Nova Scotia and the Halifax Professional Firefighters Association.

*All of the standards listed above are the ASTM standards unless otherwise specified as ANSI or IEEE.





We operate 17 hydroelectric systems, 53 generators and approximately 155 dams on lakes and rivers around Nova Scotia to generate renewable electricity. One hydro system may contain several generators and many dams to create electricity.

Hydro safety tips

  • Avoid upstream and downstream areas of dams and hydro systems.
  • Exercise caution when fishing, boating, and swimming and stay away from dams.
  • During the winter and spring months, beware of thin ice. The moving water around dams makes it very difficult for ice to form properly. Activities like snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and ice fishing can be very dangerous in these areas.
  • Plan your trip ahead of time and identify any water hazards including dams. When your trail takes you across a waterway make sure you have a way back out in case of rising water levels.
  • Respect warning signs, boom, buoys and barriers. They are there for your protection.
  • Beware that calm water can suddenly turn into rapids with a powerful undertow. This can be especially dangerous in the spring due to high inflows from spring rains and snowmelt.


Tubing on the Gaspereau River

Our dams and other infrastructure – most of which dates back to the 1920s to 1940s – along the Black River system actually create the water levels that allow tubing downstream on the Gaspereau.

How much water we can flow down the Black River system, which feeds Gaspereau River, is regulated by our environmental permits. Those rules are in place to protect fish and fish habitats. Under our environmental permits, we have to run the system 24 hours a day from April 15 to June 15 to enable fish migration – because the river has populations of smelt, gaspereau, salmon, and bass. We want to keep them healthy. But running strong river flows 24/7 drains a lot of water from the system.

At the same time, our permits also require us to maintain a certain water level on Black River Lake between Victoria Day and Labour Day – so mid-May to early-September. That’s to maintain high enough water levels for cottages along the lake, as well as for the end of the bass nesting season.

Each summer, we reach a point where those two environmental requirements intersect – we’ve drained a lot of water maintaining flows for fish migration, and so we have to reduce the flows for a few weeks to keep the water levels up in Black River Lake for the cottages and bass.




When meter readers can safely enter your property, it allows your power bill to be calculated based on actual household consumption rather than on an estimate.

Tips before your visit

  • Assess your property for potential hazards.
  • Unlock your gates and clear pathways to your meter on the day of your scheduled visit.
  • If you have a dog, please make certain it is properly leashed or kept in place that won’t interfere with the meter reader.
  • When in doubt, give us a shout. If you’re unsure if something could pose a threat to our meter readers, ask us. It’s always better to be prepared for an event that doesn’t happen than to be caught off guard by one that does.
  • Keep a safe and clear pathway. 
  • Be aware of the location of your meter. What might have been free and easy access when the meter was installed could now be hazardous.
  • Keep the area around your meter clean and free of debris and obstacles.
  • Remove brush, plants or shrubs that may be hazardous for your meter reader.
  • Remove snow and ice from the access way to your meter
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  • All meter readers wear a uniform bearing the Nova Scotia Power logo.
  • All meter readers carry logoed Nova Scotia Power photo identification cards.
  • If photo identification is not presented, do not admit individual onto your property or into your residence.



Protective Equipment Testing

We're certified in testing your protective equipment. Currently, at Nova Scotia Power we test the following products for both Nova Scotia Power and external companies:

Aerial Devices and Jib TestingANSI - A92.2
Bucket Liner TestingANSI - A92.2
Jumper Cable TestingF2321
Line Hose and Cover TestingD1049, D1050, F478
Live Line Tools TestingF711, F1825, F1826, IEEE-978
Load Buster TestingF711, F1825, F1826, IEEE-978
Plastic Line Guard TestingF712, F968
Rubber Blanket TestingD1048, F479, F1236
Rubber Glove TestingD120, F496, F1236
Rubber Sleeve TestingD1051, F496
Testing of Hydraulic Tools on Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) SticksF711, F1825, F1826, IEEE-978
Ground Set Testing & RepairF2249, F855
*All of the standards listed above are the ASTM standards unless otherwise specified as ANSI or IEEE.



Grade 6 Electrical Safety Program


Effect on the human bodyEducating children about electrical safety is important, which is why Nova Scotia Power teams up with elementary schools across the province every year to offer the Grade 6 Electrical Safety Program.

Through an hour-long presentation, students learn how to be safe around electricity through dynamic and interactive materials developed specifically for the Nova Scotia Grade 6 curriculum. Nova Scotia Power offers the program to schools throughout the province at no cost.

View Grade 6 Electrical Program >




Safe clearance reporting saves lives

Every year, Nova Scotians make dangerous contact with power lines. Whether you’re doing major commercial construction work or simple repairs to your home, ask yourself: will I come within six metres of a power line? If so, you need a Safe Clearance Report from Nova Scotia Power to safely carry out the job.