Friday, August 5, 2011

If A Wire Dangles In The North End ..... Does Anyone Care?

There is a wire dangling off the lines in the back lane. It seems to have been cut off a house and left to dangle at the side of the lane, still attached to the overhead infrastructure. I had a closer look, and saw that it was a coax cable, still showing the tags to identify which house it came from.
As a good citizen, I called the police to notify them of a potential danger. I said I was not sure exactly which house it came from, but had a good idea. I said it was a safety danger because kids might get hurt around it. And I asked if they could take care of the issue.
This was the second time I called the police regarding a wire dangling from above in the back lane. The last time was about a week ago. And that wire was inside a dumpster. I could not tell what kind of wire it was, but said there were no sparks, smoke, odd odors (other than garbage) or fire associated with these wires. Last time the fire department was alerted and I was told to stay clear of the area.
That's not the way the conversation went today. Today, I was told the police may or may not drive by. I was told it might be a safety concern regarding children, but it is not really a police issue. After stating to the person on the other end of the non-emergency phone line that I highly suspect the landlord of doing this act, and saying it was the second time I called within a short time regarding this sort of incident, and stating that I would like something done about these landlords that seem to think it is ok to cut the line at the house and leave it dangling in the lane, I was told it was not really a police matter. I was asked how I know it was a landlord. My only answer was that there seems to be a pattern. New owner takes over house, work is being done on the house, wire ends up in or around the dumpster, cut from said house. That does not seem random at all to me. I even suggested the owner of the residence likely gets charged by the Utility Company, if they are called to disconnect the line. So, the owner likely just snips the wire themselves and leaves a hazard in the back lane, dangling from power lines.
What if some kid starts pulling on the wire? What if they decide to climb it? What if their actions pull a few other wires down in the process? To me, it seems like a safety issue, and really should be dealt with. I am not even sure the police will be contacting the appropriate company to deal with the coax cable, never mind talking to the owner of the residence about their actions.
I guess I will have to go back out there and see if I could make sense of the tags at the end of the wire, to see who I should call about this safety hazard in my back lane.
I think it is a Shaw cable line. But there is a 2 hr wait on the phone, and no option to report downed lines. Maybe I will try later today. I cannot stay on the line that long.
Further Update:
Got through to Shaw cable Saturday morning, reported wire dangling from infrastructure in back lane. Advised possible danger if children play with it or swing from it.


  1. Why bother the police?
    Call Manitoba Hydro, eh?

  2. Sorry, I called the Police because landlords seem to be cutting lines and putting them in the dumpsters, leaving them still attached to the overhead infrastructure. There otta be a law against that, you would think.

  3. Hmm, I can't think of any reason a landlord would cut a cable line unless they're doing work that required the line come down. Cutting it could only cost them money, not save them any. If you want it taken care of though, I'd contact Shaw ( The police aren't likely to do anything as it shouldn't be a danger to anyone. Even if it is a telephone line someone could get a small zap but it would be unlikely.

  4. Oh, and keep up the good fight. I thoroughly enjoy your blog. :)

  5. If the wire isn't neatly coiled in the bottom of a dumpster, there is also the chance that a truck hit it while driving down the lane and pulled it down.

    This happened to me this winter and despite repeatedly informing them that the wire lying across the roadway, Shaw informed me that they would dispatch a truck in two to three days. Luckily the phone line also came down and MTS fixed both lines that night.

    Try to take comfort in the fact that Shaw's lousy service isn't simply reserved for the North End - they neglect the entire city equally.

  6. Sean
    Thanks for the comment. We actually cut the wire yesterday because the neighbourhood kids caught on it worked like a swing. We didn't want the live wires to be pulled down on top of them.
    It's a shame dangling wires are not a priority in any part of the city.