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BC Hydro report links public safety incidents to social media clout chasing

The report suggests a 200 per cent increase in trespassing incidents at BC Hydro dams, reservoirs and recreation sites
BC Hydro dam climber
The report found nearly half of British Columbians have witnessed someone trying to get a risky shot for the perfect social media post.

Great height always makes for great photos but a report from BC Hydro shows that many British Columbians are putting themselves in danger for the sake of social media notoriety. 

The report, generated from an online survey of 800 British Columbians this May, is titled “Living on the edge: British Columbians taking more outdoor risks for social media glory”. The report suggests a 200 per cent increase in trespassing incidents at BC Hydro dams, reservoirs and recreation sites. The increase in incidents ranges from climbing transmission towers to swimming in restricted areas at dam sites.

Half of British Columbians are witnesses

“The rise in public safety incidents involving its electrical system is likely motivated partly by the public’s desire to post experiences on social media,” A BC Hydro release states. “The report found nearly half of British Columbians have witnessed someone doing something risky outdoors to get the perfect photo, selfie or video.”

While only about 15 per cent admit to participating in this behaviour themselves, the evidence on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and other social media channels suggests the problem is likely more widespread the release explains.

Risking it all for the Gram

The biggest social media risk-takers are younger British Columbians, and men are twice as likely as women to risk it all for the Gram. The most dangerous things British Columbians have done to achieve the ‘perfect’ shot include standing at the edge of a cliff, knowingly disobeying safety signage or trespassing and taking a selfie from a dangerous height.
 
“This behaviour should not be taken lightly, as it can result in some very serious injuries or death,” continues the release. 

In fact, about 2 per cent or an estimated 80,000 adult British Columbians admitted to injuring themselves while trying to get a photo or video.
 
BC Hydro encourages the public to stay safe near dams, reservoirs and electrical equipment and:

  • Stay clear of generating facilities including dams, powerhouses, power lines and electrical equipment.
  • Obey all warning signs and keep out of fenced, gated and restricted areas.
  • Never contact or climb transmission towers.
  • Stay on designated trails and within observation areas, they are clearly marked.
  • Stay well back from the edge of a waterway where footing may be slippery or the bank unstable.
  • Listen and watch for sirens and strobe lights. These are warnings that water levels are changing.
  • Stay outside of public safety booms and buoys.
  • Keep in touch – if hiking or heading out on the water, do not go alone and let someone back home know where you are or use GPS if in range.