Be prepared this summer and know how you can stay safe around the electricity network. Summer also means bushfires, storms, floods and more people travelling on our roads. Here’s some simple tips to help keep you safe this summer.
Stay safe on the road
- Drive safely on the roads this holiday season – plan your journey and take regular breaks to avoid driver fatigue
- Exercise caution when travelling in poor conditions – storms, heavy rain and bushfires can create additional hazards on the road which should be considered while travelling
- Considering postponing your trip if severe weather is forecast where you will be driving
- Take particular care when travelling late at night or early in the morning – power poles can be difficult to spot in low light
- Know what to do if your vehicle comes into contact with the electricity network – it’s important that you stay inside the vehicle (if there is no fire) and call 000 immediately. If you must exit the vehicle because of fire, you must jump clear of the vehicle and land with both feet together, and do not touch the ground and the car at the same time. Call 000 or Essential Energy on 132080 immediately to report the issue. You must shuffle with your feet together to a distance of at least 8 metres and do not return to the vehicle for any reason.
Be prepared for bushfires
- Consider installing alternative power sources for water pumps
- Make sure you know how to open your garage doors and gates manually if there's no power
- Clear firebreaks
- Know your bushfire survival plan
- Keep an eye on fire danger ratings on the Rural Fire Service website
- If you see branches hanging over our powerlines, contact us on 132080 to report the issue
- Stay at least 8 metres aware from fallen powerlines, or anything touching powerlines, and call 132080 immediately.
Be sure to complete a Bushfire Survival Plan and Farm FireWise Checklist and Action Plan to reduce your bushfire risk. These documents are available on the NSW Rural Fire Service’s website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.
Be prepared for storms
- Do not approach or pick up fallen powerlines. Keep yourself and bystanders safe by staying at least 8 metres away and call 132080 immediately
- Keep an eye on StormTracker so you can prepare for storms
- Before a storm arrives, recharge your phones and laptops to help you stay connected with radio alerts, family and friends
- Trim trees around the house - do not attempt to prune trees in or near powerlines - call us on 132080 or visit essentialenergy.com.au/trees to report the trees near our powerlines
- Back-up computers and phones to keep data safe
- Consider alternative power sources for water pumps and cooking
- Make sure you know how to open your garage doors and gates manually
- Unplug your television, computer, modem and other sensitive electrical equipment during a storm and minimise the use of telephones and electrical appliances
- Keep a torch and battery powered radio in an easily accessible place in the event of a power outage
- Remove loose debris, which could become airborne in strong winds
- Prepare an emergency plan and an emergency kit. Visit the SES website, sesemergencyplan.com.au for more information and tools for creating your emergency plan
Be prepared for floods
Storms and heavy rain can lead to floods, bringing with it other electrical safety risks that should be considered. Flood waters can damage electrical installations. Deposited mud and debris can conduct electricity, making the installation unsafe during and after the flood.
Prepare for floods:
- Where possible, raise all electrical appliances before the flood
- Consider arranging for your supply to be disconnected prior to the flood, if you have sufficient time to do so
- If your supply has not been disconnected, turn off all switches and mains before the flood goes through (do not use any part of your body to hold the meter box lid open – use the prop or an object which is non-conductive).
During a flood:
- Don't stay in a building that is inundated with the power connected
- If you are in a boat or other watercraft, be aware that rising flood waters reduce the clearance of overhead powerlines (never assume they are not live)
- If parts of the electricity network or fallen powerlines are covered in flood waters stay at least 150m away because water conducts electricity. Call Essential Energy on 132080 immediately.
After the flood:
- Do not use electrical appliances until they have been checked by a qualified electrician
- Solar panels or Photovoltaic Arrays (PV Arrays) can generate an electrical current regardless of whether or not the electricity has been turned off. If you’re unsure about the state of your solar panel installation, contact your installer or a licensed electrician before turning the equipment on
- Call Essential Energy on 132080 before turning the power on if the structure has been inundated by flood waters.
Find out more about storm safety
Find out more about bushfire safety
Download our flood safety fact sheet
Find out more about what to do during a power outage
Learn the emergency escape procedure to exit your vehicle
Download our storm safety fact sheet
Go through our Summer safety checklist