UK Power Networks: Take care around electricity this autumn

News / Tue 31st Oct 2023 at 09:40am

THE clocks have changed, Bonfire Night approaches and storms mean homes could be flooded, so the country’s biggest electricity distributor is warning people to take care around electricity this Autumn.

UK Power Networks, which distributes electricity to 8.5 million homes and businesses across London, the South East and East of England, is reminding families to stay safe around potential dangers and has compiled a list of safety tips.

If storms mean flood water does enter your property our advice is to switch off the electricity at the mains, but only if it’s safe to do so. Do not touch any electrical equipment, switches or sockets when standing in water or if the electrical equipment is wet, damp or has been flooded and the electricity is on.

Flood water may damage our electrical equipment as well as the internal wiring in the property. Once the water has cleared, please call our free emergency 24 hour number: 0800 31 63 105 or simply 105. 

When the clocks change 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 Nights which can bring their own dangers.

Clorise Duporte, safety advisor said: “We want people to think about electricity all the year round and be mindful of different seasons bringing different dangers.

“The clock change we had at the weekend, 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 firework celebrations may present potential dangers, it is also vital to think about and stay safe around high voltage electricity if you’re building a high bonfire and clearly you shouldn’t do it near power lines.”

Top tips to stay safe around electricity during Autumn include:

  • With the clock change darkness is falling earlier, so take care if working around overhead lines in the dark
  • Families need to celebrate safely around Bonfire Night and make sure there are no events planned near overhead lines 
  • 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
  • If hedge cutting or clearing guttering always look out and look up for power lines
  • Make sure 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 a dropped phone, because nothing is more costly than serious injury or even death

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 at Safety advice and resources | UK Power Networks

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