“A change of season needs a shift in mindset when it comes to staying safe around high voltage electricity”, according to UK electricity distributor, UK Power Networks, who has compiled autumn safety tips for families outlining the potential dangers and the continued need to take care near overhead power lines.
The company, which distributes electricity to ‘8.4 million’ homes and businesses across London, the South East and East of England, wants all household members to heed the advice campaign.
When the clocks change at the end of October working and driving in darkness creates a significant new risk. There are extra tasks to undertake at home and in the garden and also traditional celebrations like Bonfire and Fireworks Nights which can bring their own dangers.
Ros Forbes, safety advisor said: “Autumn can be the neglected season when it comes to safety messaging with more focus on other times of the year, but we want people to think about electricity all the year round and be mindful of different seasons bringing different dangers.
“The clock change at the end of October is a key moment in the calendar. Darker evenings impact driving safety, and also link to tiredness, fatigue and poor decision making.
“With a range of activities from hedge cutting to clearing guttering at home, or in the farming and haulage industry the start of the potato and sugar beet harvest, it’s important to remember that overhead power lines are more difficult to see in the dark.
“We always urge people to be aware of their surroundings and while most people will recognise that Fireworks Night on 5 November may present potential dangers, it is vital to think about and stay safe around high voltage electricity throughout these Autumn months.”
Six top tips to stay safe around electricity during autumn include:
- Remember the clock change on October 30 will mean darkness falling earlier so take care if working around overhead lines in the dark
- Be mindful of darkness leading to possible tiredness as fatigue can lead to poor decision making when carrying out activities at work and at home
- Families need to celebrate safely around Bonfire Night and Fireworks Night and make sure there are no overhead lines near any planned events
- If hedge cutting or clearing guttering always look out and look up for powerlines
- During the autumn half-term break ensure children never use substation sites as a hiding place or den and never enter a substation site to retrieve anything, be it a ball or even something more valuable like a dropped phone, because nothing is more costly than serious injury or even death
- If camping or caravanning, never attach or tie anything to electricity poles, pylons or electrical equipment and never light a fire under an overhead line as heat could cause the wires to sag or break
If you spot damaged electrical equipment or a safety issue, the number to call is ‘105’, while a range of safety advice and information is available on the UK Power Networks website