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Safety remains top priority in cleanup efforts

CANADA, October 6 - Clearing Island roads of Fiona-related damage and debris safely remains a top priority of provincial resources.

All residents are reminded to keep safety top of mind when working on their own personal property and to be mindful of crews and work sites during the second week of power restoration and road cleanups.

Road Safety
Work crews across the Island need all residents to exercise extra vigilance of their environment while power restoration efforts continue. Residents walking, cycling, and driving should always keep a healthy distance from any work site or area where there are downed poles, power lines or large debris that can be considered a public safety risk. 

Motorists are to slow down, obey all additional temporary traffic control measures to ensure everyone’s safety while repairs are being made to transmission and distribution networks. 

Pedestrians and cyclists should avoid areas where there are downed poles and lines, or other debris that may hide loose wires and other public safety hazards. When travelling in or near these areas, please exercise extra care. 

Fire Safety
As more households are reconnected to the grid, everyone should check their residence for fire risks due to reenergization. The PEI Fire Marshal’s Office recommends checking that all heat generating appliances or sources such as stoves, ovens, and space heaters are turned off to avoid potential fire hazards. 

Those using other fuel sources for heating or maintaining some household appliances are reminded to continue practicing safe fire prevention measures. This includes ensuring combustible materials are placed away from ignition sources and continuing safe generator use practices.

Burn permit reminders
Burn permits continue to be available through the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action. Permits allow residents to burn grasses, leaves, branches and other woody materials.

It is important that burned materials are discarded appropriately to avoid any potential fire risks to their and neighbouring properties.

Worker Safety
The Workers Compensation Board has developed resources to help workers keep safety as a priority as cleanup and power restoration efforts are ongoing. These include:

  • Safety information for new workers and contractors;
  • Using ladders or cranes;
  • Chainsaw use;
  • Working fatigue; and, 
  • Using gas or propane fueled equipment. 

Employers can also access prevention resources here.

Debris Pick-up and Disposal
Residents clearing trees and cleaning debris on their personal property are reminded to avoid areas of their property where there may be downed power lines and when crews are working on restoration efforts. Power tools should only be operated by those who have prior knowledge or expertise.

Anyone with fallen trees or large debris on their personal property that pose a safety risk can call 1-833-734-1873 or go to any Access PEI location to request assistance. Islanders can also email fionacleanup@gov.pe.ca or fill out the webform

Debris removal will start once the demand for road clearing and clean-up efforts has reduced.

IWMC announced additional information on upcoming disposal schedules and waste drop-off operating hours. 

Media Availability 
There will be no public press briefing on October 6, 2022, however the Director of Public Safety Tanya Mullally remains available this afternoon by phone or virtually for interview requests. 

Media contact:    
Vicki Tse
Justice and Public Safety
vickitse@gov.pe.ca

Backgrounder:

On behalf of the province, the Prince Edward Island Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) is responsible to coordinate, manage emergency management activities and respond when requested by a municipality or in a province-wide emergency. The purpose of emergency management is to save lives, preserve the environment and protect property and the economy. The municipality or province-wide emergency is continually reassessed, and Islanders will be updated as new information becomes available. 
Everyone is encouraged to follow these safety measures:

  • Stay away from downed power lines and poles as more and more electrical infrastructure comes back online. Follow Maritime Electric for further advice.
  • Do not walk, work, cut or clean up trees or other debris near any downed power lines.
  • Do not use tools that may cause danger or injury without prior knowledge or expertise. Islanders needing help to clear debris are asked to visit Fiona Clean Up for more information.
  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Make sure stoves and other fire hazards are turned off, so they do not pose a fire risk when the power is turned on.
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open. 
  • Never use a generator on flammable infrastructure such as decks.
  • Do not use generators in apartments or condos.
  • Never use outdoor cooking units such as camping stoves, barbeques or butane burners inside your home or near your windows and doors.
  • Carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are essential safety tools. Everyone should purchase one for their residence. When running a generator, make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are in good working order. 
  • Food that is normally refrigerated must be discarded after 24 hours without power. Frozen food must be discarded after 48 hours without power. When in doubt, throw it out. Check PEI’s Environmental Health for additional information.
  • Call 911 in case of any emergency.

Local areas with their own fire regulations include:

Community General Inquiries
Souris 902-687-2157
Three Rivers (Georgetown) 902-652-2924
Three Rivers (Montague) 902-838-2528
Stratford 902-569-1995
Charlottetown 902-566-5548
Cornwall 902-566-2354
Summerside

902-432-1230

Miscouche 902-436-4962
Alberton 902-853-2720