The continuing blast of wild winter weather is acting as a timely reminder for customers to stay safe during storms with Western Power launching their 'Make the Safe Call' winter campaign today.
The bi-annual campaign, which started today across TV, radio and social media channels, is pivotal in reinforcing the important basic steps every community member should follow when they see an electrical hazard.
Western Power’s Head of Safety, Andy Shaw says most people know to call the 24/7 emergency number, 13 13 51, during a storm to report an outage or damage, but the aim of the campaign is to reinforce the correct behavior around a hazard.
“Staying at least eight meters clear of damage to the network is the single most important thing that you can do if you see or suspect there is a potential electrical hazard,” Mr Shaw said.
“Once you are in a safe position, then make that calm call to the 13 13 51 number to report the incident. We will send an emergency response crew to the location to make sure the area and community is safe.”
“You shouldn’t rely on someone else to report a fault or damage because the longer you wait to report it, the longer it takes to restore power. As far as we are concerned, during a storm, you can’t overreport damage to the network.”
Although there are safety mechanisms built in to the network to cut power if damage is detected customers should never assume it is safe to approach a fallen powerline or damaged pole just because the power is out.
This is especially true if there is a car accident involving part of the network where the damage may not be obvious.
“Over the last 72 hours we have been called to accidents (where cars have hit poles) to assist other emergency services by making sure that the area is free from electrical hazards, so they can do their work safely,” Mr Shaw said.
“It is human nature to rush in to see if someone is ok following a car accident but the best thing you can do is stay clear of the accident and call 000 to report it if someone is injured or trapped. Then call Western Power on 13 13 51.”
“Don't ever assume it is safe to approach the damaged network. Make the Safe Call to us and we will make sure the area is safe for the community.”