Storm Season Means Fallen Powerlines & What to Do

Natural calamities like storms and hurricanes continue to wreak havoc in Australia every other year. These natural hazards are potentially destructive to power lines and other electrical equipment. It is usually the after-effects from storms and hurricanes that are more dangerous and tend to lurk around for a long time. As a smart city professional, we encourage you to be aware of the potential electrical safety hazards and learn how to tackle them in the safest manner possible.

What Causes Fallen Power Lines During Storm Season?

During stormy conditions, it is common for power lines to fall on surrounding property including houses, and result in the loss of precious human lives due to electrocution. There are two main reasons due to which power lines usually fall during stormy seasons or other extreme weather conditions:

  • Falling Trees: It is a common occurrence for trees to fall on surrounding property as a result of strong winds during destructive storms. This is accompanied by falling power lines that are not able to bear the weight of the trees.
  • High-Velocity Wind: Sometimes, short bursts of high-speed wind can cause power lines to collapse and fall to the ground.

How To Stay Safe Around Fallen Power Lines?

Besides all the damage caused during storm season, fallen power lines are the primary cause of death in the affected area. Unfortunately, a layman can not tell if the fallen power line is live or not. Downed power lines must be perceived as energized and dangerous at all times. So your safest bet is to stay as far away from it as you can and warn others to stay at a distance as well. In urban city areas, a fallen power line becomes even more dangerous due to the high population density and packed neighborhoods.
Once you have ensured your and everyone else's safety, you must call a reputed electrical infrastructure specialist, like GNB Energy, or any other emergency services company immediately.  As opposed to common belief, people can get electrocuted without even coming in contact with a live wire. This is due to the “arcing” phenomena of electric current. As mentioned earlier, if you ever encounter some fallen power lines, maintain a safe distance of at least eight meters at all times while securing the area and keeping others away. More importantly, do not touch anything the power line may be laying on as the object may be energized and potentially life-threatening.
If someone does make contact with a fallen power line, DO NOT try to rescue them as you risk getting electrocuted and becoming a victim yourself. Call 911 for help.

How To Prevent Damage To Homes From Fallen Power Lines?

Here are a few arrangements that could be made to avoid falling power lines from endangering the safety of homes in the city and their occupants:

  • Ensure that the installed power lines are well clear of all kinds of tree branches that can break off and fall onto the transmission lines.
  • Avoid planting any new trees near or around the external power supply of a house.
  • For existing plantations, trim the trees to a height that is at least one meter below the transmission lines to avoid any mishap during the storm.
  • As a homeowner, get your house’s electric supply checked for faulty wiring and other defects. This can help protect against damage and injuries in case of an electric surge.

Like other natural calamities, we can not do much to avoid the inevitability of a storm or hurricane. However, there are certain measures that we can take to minimize the scope of its destruction and cope with its horrific outcomes. Knowing what to do to shield yourself from electrical safety hazards and those around you may well go a long way and end up saving lives.

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