Look up and know what's below

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

DIYers should beware of overhead lines and underground gas pipes and cabling around the home this summer – otherwise they might be in for a shock.

That’s the message in Look Up and Know What’s Below, Powerco’s latest eye-catching public safety campaign. Featuring a DIYer in his backyard, clad in leopard-print togs, the campaign seeks to educate Kiwis in a light-hearted way about the importance of electricity and gas safety around the home.

Whether painting, trimming trees, making routine repairs or doing some landscaping, Powerco is encouraging people to take the necessary safety precautions when working near overhead power lines, underground cables and gas pipes on their property.

Powerco’s General Manager Health and Safety, Julie McAvoy, says the summer months are an ideal time to get the important safety message out because it’s when most people are busy doing work around their homes.

“DIY is a favourite Kiwi pastime, especially this time of year. But overhead power lines and underground gas pipes and cabling can make even simple DIY projects dangerous. The Look Up part of the campaign is about educating people on what safety precautions they should take, including how to get a free service line disconnection from their energy retailer or by keeping themselves and their equipment well away from power lines,” Julie McAvoy says.

“Know what’s below is about educating people to use the free beforeUdig service to locate gas pipes, electricity cables and any other utilities before starting to dig around the home."

The campaign is running in Powerco’s electricity and gas network areas with a series of digital, Facebook, print and radio adverts, as well as electronic billboard in New Plymouth. As a pilot, selected Taranaki hire equipment companies and hardware stores will also display the safety messages and give information to their customers.

“Always treat every power line as live and keep your distance – a lot of people don’t know that electricity can jump through the air, which means you don’t even need to touch a line to be in danger,” Julie McAvoy says.

If you accidently hit a gas pipe there’s a risk of the gas igniting, potentially causing serious harm to people and property. Explosion and burns can occur from damage to live underground electricity cables.

Julie McAvoy says Powerco would like to see safety checks become a routine part of Kiwis’ DIY prep.

“Being aware of where lines, cables and gas pipes are on your property doesn’t take long and can potentially save you from getting seriously hurt. While you may just want to get started on painting the house, the new deck or fence, no project is worth your life.”

The Look Up and Know What’s Below campaign is running from 28 December 2021 to late February 2022.

Click here for more information.

Man up ladder painting close to power line. Neighbour looking shocked in the background.

Man in speedos digging with a spade. Shocked neighbour in the background. 


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