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Households urged to prepare for winter storms

  • Western Power receives an average of 200,000 calls during storm events in winter

West Australians are being urged to check trees and branches around their homes are well clear of overhead powerlines ahead of winter’s potentially destructive storms.

Launching Western Power’s winter storm campaign in Jandakot today, Energy Minister

Mike Nahan reminded householders to be vigilant, given unpruned trees and household debris caused the majority of electricity outages during the winter months.

“More than 60 per cent of electricity outages during a storm are caused by tree branches hitting powerlines and debris being blown into the electricity grid, and a significant number of these outages can be avoided,” Dr Nahan said.

“Western Power is busy preparing for the winter weather by trimming trees on public land, but I’d like to remind people that trees and shrubs on private land are their responsibility.

“The mild winter last year was a welcome relief for our emergency crews, but that shouldn’t be a reason for home owners to be complacent heading in to this year’s winter storm season.”

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, severe winter fronts hit Perth and the South-West every year, with the metropolitan area hit with an average of 12 days with winds exceeding 90 kilometres an hour.

During June, July and August, Western Power receives an average of 200,000 calls from members of the public reporting faults, including fallen powerlines, vehicle accidents and winter tornados.

“Check the trees on your property and make sure the branches are at least 2.5 metres from powerlines.  If you think trees near powerlines need trimming, we recommend you hire a professional tree pruner to do the job as safely as possible,” the Minister said.

“If you see a fallen powerline or network hazard, stay well away and call Western Power’s 24/7 emergency line on 13 13 51.”

Fact File

·         More than 60% of outages during winter storms are caused by trees and debris being blown into powerlines

·         In 2012, more than 230,000 people lost power during one storm event

·         2015 was one of the mildest winter storm seasons on record, with just 51,000 customers losing power due to storms

·         For more safety tips, visit http://www.westernpower.com.au/makethesafecall or download the Western Power App from your smartphone store