With hot, dry and windy conditions continuing across the State, Essential Energy is calling on landholders to be prepared and alert for bushfire – especially around the electricity network. Regional manager Northern, Mark Summers, said that summer weather could be extreme yet safety measures could help reduce the risk of electrical incidents and bushfire.
“Preparation plays a large part in mitigating bushfire risk, so we recommend completing the Rural Fire Service’s Bushfire Survival Plan which helps identify potential hazards and ways to minimise them,” Mark said.
“Clearing leaves and debris from gutters, removing combustible material from around the home and ensuring vegetation isn’t encroaching on powerlines can help to protect your property from fire risk. “Any trees growing too close to powerlines should be reported to Essential Energy.” In the event of a bushfire, property owners who decide to leave their property are advised to do so early to minimise the risk of encountering fallen or sagging powerlines
across roads and other fire hazards.
“It pays to have a fuel-operated water pump and standalone water source on hand in the event of a power outage,” Mark said. “Never attempt to fight a fire that is burning under the electricity network, as powerlines can be damaged or sag in heat.” If you decide to evacuate your property, Essential Energy recommends turning off the main power switches in your meter box to reduce the risk of short circuits and surges.
In the aftermath of a fire, be alert for damage to the electricity network, stay clear of burning poles and notify Essential Energy immediately on 13 20 80 if you come across fallen powerlines. Essential Energy advises that power outages are likely to be lengthier than usual on days of Total Fire Ban as crews need to manually inspect powerlines to ensure the safety and reliability of the electricity network.
For more information on electrical safety, visit essentialenergy.com.au/safety or contact Essential Energy on 13 23 91.