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Reporting incidents and emergencies

Report all electrical incidents

You must report all incidents of electric shock and accidents, no matter how minor they are, to Western Power and your employer if it occurs at your place of work. This is a requirement of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991.

An electric shock is an incident which does not require medical or first aid treatment. If you receive an electric shock we recommend that you have a medical assessment as a precaution.

An electrical accident is an incident which requires medical or first aid treatment and includes fatalities.

Reporting emergencies

An emergency can be:

  • tingling or slight shocks received from taps and/or appliances
  • fallen, broken or arcing power lines
  • clashing conductors
  • dangerous poles, which are leaning or sparking
  • a fire on or near the Western Power network
  • a pole that has been hit by a vehicle or lying on the ground
  • an underground cable, green dome or kiosk damaged or exposed wires
  • a substation door open.

Accidents near the Western Power network

If you see a fallen powerline or pole, always assume that it is live. Do not go near it, touch it or anything that is in contact with it.

Electricity from powerlines can jump or ‘arc’ through the air and travel to earth through your body, resulting in an electric shock. In the event of an electrical accident involving powerlines:

  • in a life threatening emergency, call emergency services on 000
  • phone Western Power on 13 13 51 to report a fallen powerline and to make the area safe
  • do not go near an injured person if it means going near powerlines
  • stand back and urge other bystanders to keep at least 6m away
  • do not approach the area until the proper authorities have declared the area safe. 

In addition to the fallen powerlines, there may also be damage to support structures and equipment. It may not be easy to see damage to structures, so always keep a safe distance.

Accidents in the home

To avoid electrical incidents within the home, have a licensed electrician regularly check the condition of your electrical wiring and consumer electrical installations connected to the home.

If an electrical accident occurs in the home:

  • in a life threatening emergency, call emergency services on 000
  • do not go near the injured person if they are still in contact with the electrical current
  • if the area is safe, check the victim for a response, breathing and pulse. If necessary start resuscitation. Do not touch burns, break blisters or remove burned clothing. Always seek medical advice after an electric shock, even if injury is not apparent
  • if the incident has happened in the home, report it to Western Power on 13 13 51, and contact a licensed electrician to check the wiring and consumer electrical installations connected to the home.

How to report an emergency

  • Call emergency services on 000

  • Call Western Power on 13 13 51

  • Keep bystanders clear

    At least 6m from any impacted network infrastructure
  • Wait for Western Power to attend to make the area safe

Vehicles and powerlines

If your vehicle is in contact with a power pole and brings down the powerline it is safest to remain in the vehicle and wait for emergency services to arrive. As a guide:

  • turn the vehicle off to cut off the fuel supply
  • call emergency services on 000 (emergency services will contact Western Power to make the area safe)
  • if possible remain in the vehicle until the power has been isolated and earthed.

An emergency evacuation of a vehicle is extremely dangerous. If you need to evacuate your vehicle because of a fire:

  • jump clear of the vehicle and make sure you land with your feet together. Do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time as this may create a path for the electricity to flow to earth through your body, resulting in electrocution
  • calmly move at least 6m away from the vehicle using short shuffle steps
  • do not return to the vehicle until the authorities have declared the area safe
  • stand back and urge other bystanders to keep at least 6m away.

If you see an emergency, call us on 13 13 51.

Evacuating a vehicle