Safety at Home
Inside your house
Electricity inside your house can be dangerous. Always use a qualified electrician to do work on the electrical system inside your house.
Outside your house
• Identify the service line that brings power from the street into your house. To safely do work (such as minor tree trimming, painting and routine property repairs) in the vicinity of your service line you can arrange a temporary disconnection. Ring your energy retailer to arrange this. Powerco covers the cost temporary disconnections relating to general work around properties, excluding electrical work.
• If you’re moving ladders, flag poles or tent poles, and boat with masts, keep them well away from the service line or power lines on the road.
• Make sure tree forts, rope ladders and swings are put in trees that are a safe distance from power lines. Keep all play equipment well away from power lines. Tie trampolines down securely - in high winds they can be blown onto power lines.
• Call us to remove any items, such as kites, that get tangled in power lines. Do not touch the kite string.
• If you are using power tools, use a RCD (residual-current device) safety switch. If there’s a problem this will trip the power before any harm.
Under the ground
• Be careful if you’re planning any earthworks, landscaping, fencing, drainage or re-piling on your property. Electricity cables and gas lines might be in your garden, under your driveway or under the roadside verge.
• Use the free beforeUdig service to find out where underground cables and gas mains are near your house.
It doesn’t look like much, but your earth peg is an important part of your home's electrical safety system. The peg ensures any electrical faults inside the house go to ground. This keeps you and your family safe from serious shocks.
You need to know where it is, and what it looks like. But don’t ever touch it.
Most earth pegs are found in the ground near your electricity meter.
If your earth peg looks damaged or shows signs of wear, it's extremely important to get an electrician to make sure it’s still safe.
Whenever you get an electrician to do work at your house, ask them to check on your electrical safety systems while they are there.
Pillar box safety
Pillar boxes – also known as pods, plinths and gyros – are small and encased in green or black plastic, or metal, and are usually found on a property’s boundary or on the roadside. They connect a property’s underground electricity cable to Powerco’s underground network.
Because they contain electrical components, damaged pillars have the potential to cause serious harm. Handling the wires in the box could cause electrocution or arc flash, which occurs when the energy source emits a burning flash of light. Being exposed to an arc flash can result in serious burns.
In an emergency outside normal business hours involving pillar boxes, call 0800 27 27 27.
How to turn off your gas supply
If you smell gas inside your house and suspect your pipework or appliances are leaking you should turn off your gas supply and call a gasfitter.
The gas isolation valve is located at the gas meter installation. You should become familiar with where the gas isolation valve is for your household and how to turn the valve off, including any tools you may need to operate the valve.
The following examples show the typical types of valves and their respective open and closed positions.
Note: You will require need a spanner to operate some valves (Figure 2).
If you cannot find the isolation valve or if at any time you have difficulty turning off the valve, contact Powerco on 0800 111 848.