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Our infrastructure around homes

It's important to know where your meter box is in case of emergency.

Your meter box houses a number of electrical components including the meter, main switch, fuses and circuit breakers, which control the flow of electricity into your home.

For your safety

  • Ask a licensed electrician

    To inspect your meter box if it shows any signs of burn marks, worn wires or a strange smell

  • Switch the power off

    At the main switch if you are doing any household maintenance or renovations

  • Label all switches

    Circuit breakers and fuses in the meter box for easy identification

  • Keep trees and shrubs away from your meter box

    Should you need to access your RCD, and/or meter readers requiring access to read your meter

  • Install circuit breakers or a safety switch

    Safety switches are mandatory in all new homes, they can save lives and prevent injury from electric shock

  • Check your safety switch

    Check your safety switch in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions

  • Have a licensed electrician check blown switches

    if a fuse, safety switch or appliance blows repeatedly have a licensed electrician check it

  • Always use a licensed electrician

    Have fuses replaced by a licensed electrician

  • Protect your meter box

    Make sure that the meter box is protected from exposure to the elements and has a meter box lid

Safety Switches and RCDs

Safety switches provide an important defence against electric shock and are mandatory in all new homes. A licensed electrician should install all safety switches except portable units.

A safety switch is designed to immediately switch the power off when harmful levels of electricity (usually 30 milliamps) ‘leak’ to earth. Safety switches typically operate within 10 to 50 milliseconds.

There are three types of safety switches:

  • switchboard or meter box units – installed on the main switchboard or meter box to provide complete installation protection or selected circuit protection
  • power point units – inbuilt in a standard power point to provide single point or single circuit protection
  • portable units – suitable for use with extension cords and portable power tools.

A safety switch will not protect against all instances of electric shock. If a person comes into contact with the active and neutral conductors while handling a faulty plug or appliance, the safety switch will not detect this contact unless there is also a flow to earth.

Make sure all appliances are in good order and test your safety switch regularly by pressing the test button.

Underground connections (Green domes - pillars)

In areas where underground power has been installed a pillar or ‘green dome’ is placed just inside the property boundary. The green dome contains live electrical wires and should be treated with a high degree of caution, particularly when performing work nearby.

If you make contact with a green dome or notice any damage, make the safe call to Western Power on 13 13 51.

  • Never touch exposed wires and report any damage to Western Power immediately on 13 13 51.
  • Underground cables from the green dome to the house are private and not shown on Dial Before You Dig plans.
  • Green domes should be kept vertically unimpeded and have a 500mm exclusion zone around the base of the unit to allow for authorised access.
  • Keep shrubbery well away, and ensure that the access to the green dome is maintained and free from obstructions. The ground level should not be raised to a level where the green dome is buried.

Private underground cables from the green dome to the house are not shown on Dial Before You Dig plans.

Private underground cables

 

Western Power requires unimpeded access to green domes. Ensure the area is kept free from obstructions and do not change the ground level.