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7 things to know about service restoration after forest fires

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by Nicole Frohloff
July 21, 2017

Safety, Natural gas, Electricity, Customer service



​7 things to know about how we restore your service after a forest fire

As some evacuated residents prepare to go home, we want to assure the public, our customers and all the communities we serve – your safety comes first. And that includes how we restore your electricity or natural gas after forest fires.

So your evacuation order has been lifted and you’re going home. Here are seven things you need to know about our restoration activities – and what may be expected of you once you get home.

Assessment

  1. If fire or emergency officials requested it, FortisBC may have turned off your electricity and/or natural gas. Once those officials confirm it is safe to do so, our crews can begin assessing the energy infrastructure in your area.
  2. Before restoring electricity or natural gas, our crews will visually inspect each home and property for damage to buildings, as well as electrical and natural gas systems.
      • Electricity customers: if there is no fire damage, and we’ve confirmed your home and systems are safe, we will reconnect your power remotely.
      • Gas customers: if your natural gas service was turned off, it can only be restored with a visit by one of our FortisBC technicians. (See below for more details.)

If you have fire damage

  1. If fire has damaged your buildings, other structures and/or the electrical system (such as the wiring, meter or circuit breaker panel) or natural gas system (such as the meter, regulator, piping and appliances), a BC Safety Authority registered electrician or licensed gas contractor must perform a safety inspection before we can reconnect you.

And in some cases, we’ll require an affidavit signed by the electrician or gas contractor before we can safely restore your service. Find an electrician or contractor in your area: https://www.technicalsafetybc.ca/find-contractor.

For gas customers only

  1. If you come home to find the service valve on your natural gas meter is turned to the off position, do not turn it on. Also, do not attempt to use any damaged gas appliances (such as a stove, fireplace or barbecue). If you’ve contacted a licensed contractor, they will check, repair and pressure test all gas pipes that may have been affected by fire.
  2. If you have concerns with the natural gas system, or if you detect the rotten egg or sulphur smell of natural gas, leave your home immediately and call the FortisBC 24-hour emergency number at 1-800-663-9911.
  3. Once your natural gas meter and appliances have been inspected, a FortisBC technician will visit your home to relight all affected appliances and restore gas service at the meter, if required.
  4. If you are not at home, a FortisBC technician will leave a door tag that provides contact information. Call 1-877-711-8877 for relights.



For more information