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Stay safe around overhead power lines this summer

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Avoid a shock this summer. Don't be tempted to cut your own trees if they are close to power lines.

You don’t need to touch a power line to be in danger; electricity can arc (jump) through the air to your equipment and you, Powerco Group Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager Julie McAvoy says.

“Look up before you attempt to do any home handyman work this summer. Power lines are never safe to touch or even get close to.

“To stay safe and avoid electric shock or electrocution, do not work on any tree that is within four metres of power lines. For your safety, Government regulations say that if a tree is within four metres of the overhead lines, you must use an approved contractor to have it trimmed.”

You can find details of approved contractors at www.powerco.co.nz/Safety/Tree-Trimming/.

Powerco is aware of several close-calls recently where people have either received electric shocks or damaged the electricity network by attempting to trim their own trees too close to power lines or using unauthorised contractors to do the job.

“At this time of year, property owners get into full swing with house and roof painting, tree trimming and general tidy-ups. We get deeply concerned by any incidents and close calls.

“The summer holidays are a time to spend with family and create great memories. Don’t put that at risk by putting yourself in harm’s way.”

Tips to keep you safe

• Keep yourself, ladders and anything you are handling at least 4m away from overhead power lines.
• Plant trees well away from power lines or choose low growing vegetation. Get branches trimmed if required by using a Powerco approved contractor.

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