Electrical hazards

Accidents and incidents

Damage to PowerNet’s equipment

Sometimes lines come down during storms or as a result of a vehicle accident. Pillar boxes are occasionally targeted by vandalism.
If you see damage to the electrical network or equipment please keep away from the damaged wires or equipment and keep other people away too, if it is safe to do so.

Phone PowerNet System Control on 0800 808 587.

It is better that you report damage or anything untoward, even if you are not sure if it is in fact damaged. Please don’t be embarrassed, we will appreciate your call. If equipment isn’t damaged your information can help us fit other pieces of information together.

Damage could include:

  • Broken poles or wires
  • Damage created by trees
  • Broken cables, insulators
  • Damage to wires, poles, underground boxes (pillar boxes), transformers or substations
  • Doors open on underground boxes or other equipment

If lines have fallen around a vehicle, or the vehicle is in contact with other live equipment, the safest way to avoid electric shock is for occupants to stay in the vehicle until help arrives and tell anyone who comes near to keep away too because the ground might be electrified by the lines.

They should only try to get away from the vehicle if another urgent matter, such as a fire in the vehicle, forces them to evacuate. Otherwise – stay in the vehicle until one of our line mechanics tells you it’s safe to get out.

If it is not safe to stay in the vehicle and you have to get out you should:

Jump from the open door of the vehicle so that you are not touching it and the ground at the same time (touching the ground and the vehicle at the same time could give you a potentially fatal electric shock).

Stay on your feet and either shuffle or hop away keeping your feet close together until you are at least 10 metres or more away from the vehicle. This might look a bit strange when you are doing it, but it could save your life because electricity can flow up one leg and down the other if you take a normal-sized step on electrified ground.