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.
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.
If you witness an electrical accident it is important to respond quickly and with caution.
Find out how to stay safe and keep your trees away from powerlines.