Staying safe around electricity
We want you and your family to stay safe around electricity. Here are some handy tips about what to do to keep yourself and others safe.
Downed power lines
Downed power lines are extremely dangerous and can kill. If you see power lines down, stay at least eight meters away and make sure other people and animals keep well away. Never approach to take a closer look.
Call 111 and ask to speak to the Fire Service and give as much information as you can, as this will help them find you sooner.
If you're in a vehicle and the power lines are across or very close to your vehicle, it’s safest for you to stay in your vehicle whilst waiting for emergency services. If fire is a very real danger and you need to get out of the vehicle, it’s important you don’t touch the car and the ground at the same time — jump away from the vehicle as far as you can.
Meter issues or meter fires
Don’t tamper with your electric meter for any reason. If you’re concerned about your meter for any reason DO NOT TOUCH IT. Instead give us a call urgently on 0800 496 496 (option 1) and we’ll organise an urgent visit by a metering technician.
If your meter is smoking, has a burning smell or catches fire, call 111 and ask for the Fire Service. Do not attempt to put the fire out. Electrical fires need specialist equipment to be dealt with, never attempt to put out an electrical fire with water.
If an electrical appliance starts smoking, arcing or making a bang, or there is a burning smell or flames, make sure you and others at your property are safe. If it’s safe to do so, turn off the appliance at the wall. If you're unable to switch off the appliance at the wall, or if there is a fire:
- exit the property; and
- call 111 and ask for the Fire Service.
Electrical fires need specialist equipment to be dealt with, never attempt to put out an electrical fire with water.
An electric shock can be life threatening, so here’s what you need to know to keep yourself safe from electric shock:
- don’t handle switches or electrical appliances with wet hands
- don’t use implements to touch live electrical parts (for example using a knife to remove toast from a plugged-in toaster or poking an electrical socket)
- turn off mains power to your house if you’re doing DIY work that could touch electrical wiring
- if you're fishing near power lines, check around you before casting. Fishing lines can conduct electricity, so if these touch power lines there is a risk of electrical shock
- if you're towing a water vehicle, or are out on the water, check for overhead lines. You must remain at least four meters away from these at all times.
If someone receives an electric shock:
- don’t touch the injured person if they are still in contact or close to the source of electricity
- if it is safe to do so, turn off the source of the electricity (for example at the mains switch)
- if the source of the electricity is close by or on the injured person it is important to remove it BUT only if you will be safe – find a non-conducting piece of equipment such as a wooden broom handle and attempt to remove the source of electricity
- call 111 and ask for an ambulance.
Got a dog or other hazards on your property?
There will be times when a contractor needs to visit your property to complete work or read your meter. Please help us keep our contractors safe by telling us about any dogs or other hazards at your property.
Whether it is an overly friendly dog, or an overly prickly rose bush – we want to know. Just fill our quick hazard form below.
Please help us keep our contractors safe by telling us about any dogs or other hazards at your property.