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Knowledge rewarded in fight against outages

Knowing how to be safe when around the electricity network has paid off for Steve Borley with Western Power naming him the first winners of their online Storm Safe competition.

The Swan Valley local won a tree pruning package to the value of $1,000, by answering three simple but important questions on how to be safe during a storm outage.

Western Power’s Head of Operational Maintenance Gair Landsborough said that recent data on the major cause of outages on the network was vegetation.

“Vegetation is a common cause of outages all year round but during a storm a majority of power interruptions are directly attributed to vegetation coming into contact with the network,” Mr Landsborough said

“The 21 May storm earlier this year resulted in around 60,000 customers losing power, driven mainly by vegetation hitting the network. We see this in the unusually high number of hazard faults reported due to downed powerlines.”

Mr Landsborough said storm fronts that pack 100km/h winds increased the risk of toppling trees and breaking branches. There is a lot that customers can do to reduce that risk of vegetation around the home contributing to an outage.

The competition coincides with the launch of Western Power’s optimised website designed to help customers find important safety information, guides on working safely around the network, how to report faults and stay up to date with outage restoration times.

The website allows customers to pinpoint and log faults, while more easily accessing important safety information (like staying eight meters away from a fallen powerline, which may or may not be one of the competition answers).

Western Power’s Storm Safe competition ends on 11 September and there are four $1,000 tree pruning packages still up for grabs.

Steve Borley, first winner of the online Storm Safe competition
Broken branch that has damaged powerlines
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