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Stay Safe this Summer Around Overhead Lines

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Whatever you get up to this summer, Powerco is urging you to stay safe around its power lines.

“At this time of year DIYers get into full swing with house and roof painting, tree trimming and general property tidy-ups,” Network Service Delivery Manager for Powerco Ltd, David Hammond explained.

“And we get deeply concerned by incidents and close calls that we’ve seen over the past few years.

“Power lines are dangerous year round. Summer means lots of people are busy on the outside of their properties. They need to think about the overhead power lines, especially if they are using ladders, or long tools like branch loppers.  These lines are never safe to touch or even get close to.”

Summer is also a time when boat owners head out on the water.

“Electricity can arc or leap across objects like boat masts if they get close enough to power lines. If that happens, and someone then touches the boat, trailer or vehicle towing it, the results could be tragic. We’re talking terrible injuries and even death,” Mr Hammond said.

“We all look forward to our summer break,” Mr Hammond said, “But safety can never go on holiday. When working or playing outside, double check how close you are to the power lines. Look up and look out; that way you stay safe.

“If you are unsure about what you can and can’t do, call us at 0800 POWERCO (0800 769 372).”

Tips to keep you safe around power lines and electricity at home this summer:

• Call your electricity retailer before using a ladder close to lines to arrange a disconnection Powerco can turn the power off to the lines near your house making it safer to do work near them.
• If you are using a ladder near power lines, keep yourself, the ladder and anything you are handling at least four metres away from overhead power lines.
• If you must dig, check for underground gas, power or water services. Contact beforeUdig (beforeudig.co.nz)
• Use a licensed electrical worker for all electrical repairs.
• Make sure everyone in your house knows where your home’s earth peg is located.
• Plant trees well away from power lines and choose low growing vegetation. Get branches trimmed if required (they must be more than four metres away from power lines).
• Before installing a clothesline, TV antenna or anything up high, check the clearance from power lines.
• When using electrical equipment outdoors, always use a Residual Current Device (RCD) or an isolating transformer, available at your local hardware store.

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