Whether you plan to leave town for the long weekend or stick around home, SaskPower is hoping you take a moment to check your meter box for signs of a potential fire.
The three major warning signs include: a tilting meter box that’s pulling away from the house, frayed wires, and/or a new significant gap between the ground and the home.
SaskPower’s Jonathan Tremblay said after a person checks once, they should be in the clear as it takes weeks for these issues to develop into fire hazards.
Should things look a little wonky, Tremblay recommends people give SaskPower a call. He said they’ll send crews out within 72 hours, and — if it’s urgent — they’ll send someone out right away. In some cases, he said SaskPower could also ask for a photo of the meter via email.
However, Tremblay urged residents to leave the fixing to the experts.
“They actually open (the meters) up, remove them and look behind there,” explained Tremblay. “It’s a more in-depth look that we need our SaskPower electricians and technicians to do.”
According to Tremblay, in Regina, there have been 40 incidents where the wires have been pulled out from the box, causing power outages, and seven fires.
Homes built in the 1960s and 70s are the most affected, and are generally in Regina’s Normanview, Uplands and Glencairn neighbourhoods. It’s there where SaskPower crews continue to inspect, along with the rest of the city.
Moose Jaw, Shaunavon, Kindersley and Rosetown have also now been added to list of inspection areas, since they all either have similar clay ground or have had the same dry conditions.
NEW SASKPOWER SCAM
SaskPower customers are now facing a different kind of issue: scammers.
In a news release Friday, the crown corporation said many people have received phone calls from fake SaskPower employees telling people to pay their overdue bills. If the customer doesn’t pay their bill by a certain date, the scammer threatens to disconnect their power.
It’s hit several small businesses already, and the scammers have also gone as far as emailing out the same threats with the subject line “SaskPower Billing.” The email asks people to download a zip file and reply back with their personal information.
If the authenticity of a call or email is ever in question, SaskPower suggests people hang up the phone or delete the email, and verify the status of their account at 1-888-757-6937.
Anyone who has been the target of scammers is also encouraged to report the incident to police or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.