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Look Up and Know What’s Below when working around home this summer

Monday, February 01, 2021

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

That’s the message in Look Up/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 lighthearted 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 powerlines, 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 message out.

“DIY is a favourite Kiwi pastime, especially this time of year – and with COVID-19 travel restrictions, there’s likely more people doing DIY projects at home than usual,” says Mrs McAvoy.

“But overhead lines and underground cabling can make even simple DIY projects dangerous. Our Look Up campaign is about education 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 ” says Mrs McAvoy.

The campaign is running in Taranaki, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Wellington and Tauranga with a series of digital, radio and print ads as well as bus backs. It follows Powerco’s recent orchard safety campaign for horticultural workers.

“Always treat every 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,” says Mrs McAvoy.

People planning earthworks, landscaping, fencing, drainage or re-piling on their property should also be aware that electricity cables and gas pipes may be hidden in their garden, driveway or under the roadside verge. However, a quick check on the free beforeUdig service will let you see any underground cables and gas supply pipes near the house.

Mrs McAvoy says Powerco would like to see these types of 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 or injured. 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 campaign is running from mid-December 2020 to mid-February 2021.

For more information, visit https://www.powerco.co.nz/safety/safety-at-home/

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