Each year, Western Australia suffers from high winds, electrical storms and heavy rain. This can result in debris or vegetation causing damage to overhead powerlines. It is important that if you see a fallen powerline that you stay well away and call us on our 24/7 emergency number - 13 13 51. Make the safe call.
Safety near powerlines
Powerlines transport electricity at different voltages up to 330,000 volts. The higher off the ground the line is, the greater the voltage it is carrying.
Anything that comes into contact with a powerline, including the human body, will conduct electricity. However, electricity can also 'arc' or jump up to six metres. For this reason contact with a powerline may not be required for electrocution to occur. The higher the voltage and humidity of the surrounding air, the further electricity can jump.
Powerlines are dangerous. Do not get too close or throw objects onto the poles or lines.
Conductors are the wires that transport electricity across the network to consumers. In unusually high winds, or in combination with other extreme or unusual conditions such as very high temperatures, some conductors can sway abnormally, leading them to touch or come in close enough proximity to each other that electricity is able to arc between the conductors. This 'clashing' can result in sparking and sometimes small molten metal fragments may fall to the ground, which in some circumstances can lead to fires and other hazards. If you see conductors clashing or swaying abnormally, please note the location and report to Western Power by calling 13 13 51.
- Always assume powerlines are live. If you see a powerline that has fallen to ground DO NOT PICK IT UP to move it out of the way. Call 13 13 51 immediately.
- Do not interfere with powerlines in any way - climbing poles, touching wires or throwing objects onto powerlines can result in electrocution and power interruptions.
- Do not touch anything that is touching powerlines for example tree branches. This may mean that the tree is 'live' and can electrocute you.
- Know where powerlines are located. Look around and check where the nearest powerlines are when you are:
- working on gutters, windows or roofs such as painting or installing television aerials
- working from ladders, trestles or scaffolding (especially metal ones)
- working on a farm or construction site
moving tall items
- playing or working near trees
- pruning trees and other vegetation
- flying a helicopter or glider
- driving an oversize vehicle
- enjoying leisure activities such as kite flying, boating and even fishing
- Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with what to do if an electrical accident occurs.