Electrical hazards are often present during emergency events such as storms, floods and bushfires. So it’s important that Emergency Services workers know how to minimise their exposure to them.
You don’t need to be an electrical expert to manage these situations safely. You simply need a good understanding of the basics and be able to follow a few essential rules to keep yourself and others safe.
Remember the eight metre rule
Never approach fallen powerlines. Keep at least eight metres away from them and anything they may be touching such as trees and fences.
Use barricades or tape to make sure all bystanders stay clear too, and contact the Electricity Network Provider immediately (Endeavour Energy on 131 081 if the emergency is within our area).
Never try to move fallen powerlines
While they may seem ‘dead’, powerlines may re-energise in an instant without warning. So keep eight metres away from them and don’t approach unless given the all clear by the Electricity Network Provider.
Don't park under powerlines
Storms and fires can weaken the integrity of power poles and connection points. If powerlines do fall on your vehicle do not exit. Stay inside the vehicle. You are safe in the vehicle and should stay put unless there is a life threatening risk, such as fire.
If you must exit the vehicle, jump clear of the vehicle with your legs and feet together and continue to jump with your legs and feet together until you are eight metres away.
Avoid rushing in
We understand that as an Emergency Services worker your first response is to help. However, when electricity is involved, you must stand back and wait for the Electricity Network Provider to attend and make everything safe.
Endeavour Energy has worked with Ausgrid, Essential Energy and Ergon Energy to develop an electrical safety video for Emergency Services workers: Watch electrical hazard awareness for the Emergency Services
Find out more about powerlines down and storm situations in this safety leaflet: Alive and Dangerous