High fire potential prompts advice for bushfire season

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With a higher than normal fire potential predicted for parts of the State this bushfire season, EnergySafety is urging Western Australians to ensure that gas and electrical installations on their property are safe and in good working order.

Director of Energy Safety, Ken Bowron, is advising consumers to check their private power poles and power lines and any LP Gas cylinders before the bushfire season starts.

“Poorly maintained or damaged private power poles or power lines may increase the risk of fire or electrical hazard, resulting in serious risks to people and property,” Mr Bowron said.

“Private power poles and lines should be checked once a year and after severe weather events to ensure there are no signs of deterioration.

“However, do not climb a pole, approach the wires, attempt any electrical repairs or cut any vegetation near an energised power line, as contact with live wires can kill.

“A visual inspection should be carried out, and obvious defects such as leaning poles, low hanging or damaged wires, large cracks or termite damage in wood poles and corrosion in steel poles at the ground line should be looked for.

“If any defects are found or suspected during a visual inspection, a licensed electrical contractor should be contacted to carry out further inspection or repairs.

“Vegetation should be cleared from around the base of power poles and be at least two metres clear of power lines. If it is not, arrange for the vegetation to be cleared by a competent vegetation control contractor.”

Power lines that transport electricity from the main switchboard and meter to a consumer’s home are deemed to be private power lines. This includes the pole where the network operator’s overhead service cable is attached.

If a consumer has private power lines or poles on their property, it is their responsibility to maintain them. The network operator should be contacted if the consumer is unsure if the power lines or poles are their responsibility.

“The 45kg domestic LP Gas cylinder is used widely throughout bushfire prone areas, however it does not pose a significant additional risk during bushfires as long as it is correctly installed and maintained,” Mr Bowron said.

“These gas cylinders should be installed outside buildings on a firm, level and non-combustible base and secured to a solid structure. They should be clear of any combustible materials and the safety valves should be positioned so they point away from adjacent structures and cylinders.

“LP Gas cylinders should also be checked to ensure there is no damage such as dents and gouges that will affect the cylinder’s integrity.”

If a consumer is concerned about LP Gas cylinders on their property, contact the gas supplier or a licensed gasfitter.

The Guidelines for the Safe Management of private power poles and lines, as well as further information on vegetation control and LP gas cylinders, can be found at www.energysafety.wa.gov.au.

Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney (08) 62512363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only).

Building and Energy
Media release
19 Sep 2017

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