Firefighters are frequently exposed to electrical hazards when responding to emergencies.


Firefighters may be exposed to the risk of injuries from electrical hazards during the following situations:

  • electrical utility equipment that is damaged or has caught fire
  • a vehicle collision with an electrical pole
  • an electrical transformer explosion
  • structural fires where fire has compromised the electrical power supply

Actions for employers

Employers must:

  • familiarize firefighters with electrical hazards, to protect their health and safety
  • train firefighters on working safely near electrical hazards

Employers should:

  • develop procedures for working near electrical hazards

Working near electrical hazards

Consider the following when developing procedures for working near electrical hazards:

  • sources of electricity
  • how to isolate the electricity
  • appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment

Applicable regulations and acts


  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
    • clause 25(2)(a) for providing information and instruction to a worker
    • clause 25(2)(d) for making workers aware of hazards
    • clause 25(2)(h) for taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers


Read the Electrical safety handbook for emergency responders – Best practices for coping with electrical hazards in rescue and fire situations, Hydro One Networks Inc., Electrical Safety Authority, Office of the Fire Marshal, and Public Services Health and Safety Association, revised 5th Edition, 2013.

Read firefighter guidance note 6-16 Machinery/electrical lockout during emergency response