Electrical accidents

If you witness an electrical accident it is important to respond quickly and with caution. 

Electrical accidents at home, near powerlines or involving powerlines and vehicles need to be treated differently.

Accidents at home

  • DO NOT TOUCH THE VICTIM - you may also receive an electric shock.
  • Turn off the main switch immediately. This will either be located in the meter box or inside your home, away from the meter box. The main switch turns off the mains electricity supply to your home. If you have a second supply of electricity this will need to be disabled too.
  • Dial 000 (If you have a mobile phone dial 112 to connect to Emergency Services. Contact your provider for details about your service).
  • Do not touch the victim until you are sure that they are no longer in contact with the electrical current.
  • If the area is safe, check the victim for a response, breathing and pulse. If necessary start resuscitation.
  • Report the incident to Western Power on 13 13 51.
  • Do not touch burns, break blisters or remove burned clothing. Always seek medical advice after an electric shock, even if injury is not apparent.

Accidents near powerlines

Don’t go near or touch the powerlines. Electricity from powerlines can jump or 'arc' through the air and travel to earth through your body, resulting in electrocution. In the event of an electrical accident involving powerlines follow these steps:

  • Do not go near an injured person if it means going near powerlines.
  • Dial 000 if using a landline or 112 if you are using a mobile (Contact your provider for details about your service).
  • Phone Western Power on 13 13 51 to disconnect power to the affected powerline.
  • Stand back and urge other bystanders to keep a distance of at least six metres (the distance that high voltage electricity can 'arc' or jump).
  • Do not approach the scene until the proper authorities have declared the area safe.

Vehicles and powerlines

Where a vehicle is in contact with a powerline:

  • If possible remain in the vehicle until the power is switched off.
  • If you need to evacuate your vehicle because of fire or if nobody is aware of your situation the following steps should be taken:
  • Don't touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time as this may create a path for the electricity to flow to earth through your body, resulting in electrocution.
  • Jump clear of the vehicle. 
  • Calmly move at least six metres away from the vehicle using short shuffle steps. 
  • Do not return to the vehicle until after the authorities have declared the area safe.
  • Bystanders should not approach the vehicle and should remain at least six metres away. 
  • Dial 000 if using a landline or 112 if you are using a mobile (Contact your provider for details about your service).
  • Phone Western Power on 13 13 51 to disconnect power to the affected powerline.


Report an emergency

  • Western Power
    13 13 51 (24 hours) 
  • Emergency services
    Dial 000
    (If you have a mobile phone dial 112 to connect to Emergency Services. Please contact your provider for details about your service).

Electrical accidents

If you witness an electrical accident it is important to respond quickly and with caution.

 

Disclaimer

While care is taken in the preparation of this material, it is not comprehensive. We cannot foresee every issue that may arise or guarantee that every factor arising in your personal circumstances is addressed.