To do your part, you have to know how to identify a medium-voltage line

Video: Recognizing dangerous lines

This short video explains the different kinds of lines that are part of the distribution system: Medium voltage, low voltage and telecommunications—and the danger that they can pose.

Do you want to plant a tree or shrub?

Great idea! Trees and shrubs enhance our quality of life. But look around first: are there any medium-voltage lines nearby?

If so, use our Choosing the Right Tree or Shrub tool.

It can help you select a type of tree or shrub that meets your needs and is compatible with the power distribution system. For each type, it identifies a safe planting distance from power lines (How to measure the safe planting distance). By maintaining the indicated clearance, you can avoid a great deal of trouble. You’ll ensure that your tree has all the space it needs to grow without losing its natural shape or coming too close to medium-voltage power lines.

Climbing plant + power line = DANGER!

Never place a climbing plant where it could grow up a power line pole. In the long run, this will inevitably create a dangerous situation.

Are you planning to prune or cut down a tree?

If there are any power lines nearby, especially a medium-voltage line, watch out! There’s a real danger of a fatal accident!

By law, only Hydro-Québec or a professional tree trimmer authorized by Hydro-Québec is allowed to carry out tree pruning or cutting work that might require a person, part of a tree or a tool to come within three metres of a medium-voltage line at any time. If you have any doubts, contact Hydro-Québec before starting any such work.

Contact Hydro-Québec to evaluate work on trees near medium-voltage lines.

Have you noticed any vegetation that is too close to a medium-voltage line?

If the vegetation catches fire, call 911! The operator will notify the fire department and Hydro-Québec. NEVER attempt to put out a fire near a medium-voltage line.

If vegetation is close to a medium-voltage line and you see sparks, or if the situation seems dangerous, contact Hydro-Québec. We will respond as quickly as possible, depending on the potential danger involved.

Climbing plant + power line = DANGER!

If there is a climbing plant within three metres of a transformer or a medium-voltage power line without an insulating sheath, don't touch the plant. Contact Hydro-Québec.

Fatal hazard! Climbing plant + power line
Fatal hazard! Climbing plant + power line

NEVER attempt to trim vegetation near a medium-voltage line yourself!

By law, only Hydro-Québec or a professional tree trimmer authorized by Hydro-Québec is allowed to carry out vegetation control work that might require a person, part of the vegetation or a tool to come within three metres of a medium-voltage line at any time.

You notice that a weak tree or branch risks damaging your home’s service loop

Your service loop consists of three twisted wires connecting the distribution line to your home. These lines generally enter your home through a service mast topped with a gooseneck, and they are usually attached to the wall by a spool rack.

If you are a homeowner and want to avoid power outages and costly repairs, it’s in your interest to make sure there aren’t any trees or branches that could fall or lean on your service loop.

Whenever strong winds, freezing rain or wet snow causes a tree or branch to fall onto a service loop, the service mast or spool rack runs the greatest risk of being damaged. These components belong to you: it will be up to you to repair any damage and pay the costs.

In addition, major weather events can cause numerous outages and major damage. In such cases, Hydro-Québec’s first priority is to restore power to as many customers as possible. Repairing individual service loops is one of the last steps in restoring electricity service. In the event that one of your own components, like a service mast or spool rack, is damaged, Hydro-Québec will not be able to restore your connection until you have had the necessary repairs done.

What to do when a tree or branches risk damaging your service loop

  • If the tree belongs to you, you are responsible. If it poses a risk, it’s up to you to rectify the situation.
    Warning: Tree pruning and felling are dangerous activities, especially when there are power lines nearby. Make sure you get a qualified arborist to do this work./li>
  • If the tree doesn’t belong to you, notify the owner of the risk it poses.