Once primarily for military use, the low cost of drones has propelled their popularity for a range of commercial and noncommercial uses. From racing to photography to information gathering, the safe operation of drones is imperative to keep the public out of harm’s way.

However, flying these devices near power lines can be especially dangerous and could affect the operation of the drone. If the device gets tangled or stuck in electrical equipment, do not attempt to retrieve it. Instead, the local electricity supplier should be informed immediately. Never climb fences into an electrical transmission or distribution station to retrieve your drone.

Other tips for safely using a drone include only fly during daylight and good weather, avoid flying near airports, and keep your device in sight. Avoid flying in populated areas, near moving vehicles or at too high an elevation and ensure you are following all operation rules set out by Transport Canada.

There are also many commercial uses for drones as well. Hydro One, a transmission and distribution company, has a fleet of eight drones, which are operated by trained and certified employees. The company uses the drones primarily for inspecting its assets. These devices have been fully tested in a controlled environment to ensure they operate correctly near power lines.

Find more information at www.tc.gc.ca/safetyfirst.