Nova Scotia Power warns of extreme safety risks involved in copper wire thefts

HALIFAX: Nova Scotia Power is warning that anyone taking the risk of stealing copper wire from their equipment is putting themself at risk of severe injury or death by doing so.

The company has been the target of a rash of copper wire thefts in Cape Breton over the past two months. Paul Casey, Nova Scotia Power Vice President of transmission, distribution and delivery, says a significant amount of live wire has been stolen from roadside power poles since the beginning of June, at great risk to both personal and public safety.

“There is a very high risk of electrocution,” said Casey. “Live wire can carry 25,000 volts of electricity – a charge from that wire would be life-threatening or fatal for anyone in the vicinity and can cause significant damage to our equipment. Not to mention, removing the wire can generate an unstable electrical current for nearby customers and create dangerous working conditions for our crews.”

The company’s corporate security department has been providing details of each theft to local authorities, and both the Cape Breton Regional Police and the Baddeck RCMP have been investigating.

Nova Scotia Power and the Cape Breton Regional Police are asking anyone with information on these copper wire thefts to report it as soon as possible to Cape Breton Regional Police at 1-902-563-5151, Baddeck RCMP at 1-902-295-2350, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.