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Tips for electricity safety outdoors

Working around the home

Be aware of the location of powerlines attached to your house or shed when working around the home.

Always keep:

  • well clear of electric wires attached to your house or shed, and
  • metal ladders well away from powerlines and ensure your ladder has rubber over the feet.

Water and electricity don’t mix

Water and electricity do not mix, and electricity near swimming pools can be a lethal. Electric shocks received in the vicinity of a swimming pool are more likely to be fatal than those received in other locations, as bare feet, minimum clothing and wet skin reduce your body’s insulation and resistance. NEVER use a portable electrical appliance or place an extension cord where it could be splashed or fall into the pool.

Dial before you dig

If digging around the home, identify the location of underground pipes and cables before you break the ground. Do not excavate until you know what’s underground.

Contact Dial Before You Dig on 1100.

Recreation activities near powerlines

Recreation activities, such as sailing, flying a kite or model plane or climbing trees can also be a hazard around powerlines. Do not fly kites, drones or model aeroplanes anywhere near overhead powerlines.

Managing trees near powerlines

Trees and shrubs growing in close proximity to power lines are a safety risk and can cause fires, blackouts or power surges. Their foliage and branches must be kept clear of powerlines and any electricity infrastructure.

If trees are touching or in close proximity to powerlines, contact your local council or electricity distribution company to seek advice or hire an tree removal specialist (or aborist) to do the work.

Read more on Powerlines and vegetation management.

Tips for managing trees near powerlines

  • Plant low growing species near powerlines – ask your electricity distribution company for a list of suitable species for your area.
  • Only authorised powerline pruning contractors should prune trees touching or in close proximity to power lines – electricity distribution companies can provide lists of qualified power line pruning contractors.
  • Before pruning tree branches or foliage, look around you for overhead powerlines.
  • Pruning should be done before trees and shrubs grow to within one metre in any direction of power lines.
  • Avoid pruning in high winds.

Caravan power supplies

Ensure the power supply cord to your caravan is in good condition and rated at 15 amps. Beware of overhead powerlines and wires when erecting caravan TV antennas.