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Hot weather, trees not good for power lines

Monday, 31st January, 2011

The hot weather can damage powerlines and householders are being asked to keep an eye out for the danger.

Powerlines can sag or fall and come into contact with tree branches when temperatures soar and strong winds prevail, Country Energy said yesterday. 

The regional general manager for the Far West, Guy Chick, said the company regularly inspected its powerlines to maintain fire safety clearances, but it also appreciated information from its customers. 

"We encourage people to call Country Energy on 13 20 80 to let us know of any trees growing dangerously near lines on properties," Mr Chick said. 

"If overhead powerlines appear damaged, are sagging or have fallen to the ground, keep at least eight metres clear. Don't touch or move them under any circumstances, and contact Country Energy immediately." 

It was also vital, he said, to keep well away from anything that damaged powerlines may be in contact with, including tree branches, water pipes and fences, as they may have become electrified. 

It can take less than a millionth of a second for electricity to pass from a powerline through a tree branch to a person, and removal of trees or branches on or near powerlines should only be done by qualified personnel, Mr Chick said. 

For more information about electrical safety phone 13 23 56, drop into the Customer Service Centre or visit www.countryenergy.com.au . 

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