VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Don’t do it for the ‘Gram — that’s the message from BC Hydro which finds too many people are risking their lives for social media glory.
The utility is urging people to think twice before they do something that could have serious consequences.
From climbing transmission towers to swimming in restricted areas, a new report from the utility suggests there has been a 200 per cent increase in trespassing incidents at dams, reservoirs, and recreation sites.
“What we’ve seen is a big increase in these types of serious and potentially deadly incidents over the past few years,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Susie Rieder, who notes the problem appears to be much bigger than numbers show.
“We found that nearly half of British Columbians have seen someone doing something risky, things like standing on the edge of a cliff, or disobeying safety signage, or standing at a dangerous high to get a photo or a selfie or a video.”
A rise in trespassing and public safety incidents involving our infrastructure could be tied to the pursuit of the perfect social media post. Read our new report: https://t.co/F3HHCOaYZy pic.twitter.com/Pxwt00Xm1n
— BC Hydro (@bchydro) July 30, 2021
She says an estimated two per cent — or about 80,000 — of adults in B.C. admit to hurting themselves while trying to get a photo or video for social media.
“This is very concerning.”
In addition to putting themselves in danger, people pushing the limits to get that stellar shot are also often trespassing, meaning they could face serious consequences if they’re caught.
Rieder says those signs telling you to stay away aren’t a suggestion, adding oftentimes there are safety risks associated with these sites.
“Anytime you’re going into a rec site, or going into one of our substations, or climbing a tower, it’s absolutely trespassing,” she told NEWS 1130.
“Near our hydroelectric facilities and reservoirs, we want to remind the public to steer clear of these facilities. That includes dams, power houses, power lines, and all electrical equipment. Obey all warning signs and keep out of fenced, gated, and restricted areas.”
If you’re hiking, Rieder recommends staying on designated trails so as to not stray into any unauthorized areas.
“Listen and watch for sirens and strobe lights at our dam sites. These are warnings that water levels are changing, and stay outside public safety booms and buoys,” said Rieder.
Read the full report:
BC Hydro Report – Living On The Edge
When it comes to towers, her message is clear: do not climb them. Rieder says these towers carry very large quantities of electricity at a high voltage.
She also reminds people to stay out of substations, adding electric voltage at a substation can be deadly. “Only trained, authorized BC Hydro workers should ever enter a substation.”
If you ever see a downed power line or other damaged electrical equipment, you are to stay at least 10 metres back and call 9-1-1.
BC Hydro also encourages people to report trespassing incidents.