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Electricity emergency

Gas emergency

Safe distances save lives

 

The electricity and gas network is essential and familiar infrastructure in our community, but if you get too close you could get hurt.

We’re lucky to have some of the lowest rates of serious network related safety incidents in the country, but it’s important that we all continue to stay aware and keep ourselves, loved ones, pets, equipment, vegetation, tools, machinery, furniture and belongings away from network infrastructure to stay safe. Depending on what electrical and gas infrastructure you’re close to, and what you’re doing, different safe distances apply.

Electricity network safe distances

 

Infrastructure Safe distance
Above ground Underground
Overhead service lines 100mm
N/A
Power poles
1.5m
N/A
Low-voltage powerlines
1.5m
50cm
Medium-voltage powerlines (11kV–22kV)
2.0m
50cm
High-voltage powerlines (66–132kV)
4.0m 
3.0m
Mini-pillars
1.5m
N/A
Pole substations
1.5m
N/A
Substations
50m
N/A
Fallen or sagging powerlines
8.0m
N/A

 

Gas network safe distances

 

Infrastructure Safe distance
Above ground Underground
Medium-pressure gas pipeline N/A 30cm
Gas meters 500mm N/A
Gas meter relief vent 500mm N/A
Regulating stations Perimeter fence N/A

Below are some of the most important aspects of energy network safety, click on a heading to learn more.

  • Vegetation

    Poor vegetation management cause more than 140 unplanned outages each year, so it’s important to ensure that all trees and vegetation are kept at least 1.5m from poles, powerlines and all other network infrastructure. If your trees or vegetation is within 1.5m or may come within 1.5m during trimming, you’ll need to engage an accredited arborist. For high-voltage powerlines or in bushfire prone areas, the minimum clearance is 2.0m.

    Trees and vegetation growing too close to poles and powerlines also create safety hazards and increase the risk of such as grass fires and bushfires and electrocution, and restrict access to the network which may prevent essential maintenance from being carried out.

    If you’ve noticed a tree in your area that is too close to poles or powerlines, report it to us. Or if you’ve recently trimmed trees and vegetation following a notification we sent you, let us know. Read more information about how to maintain minimum vegetation safe distances on our trees and powerlines page.

  • Home safety

    Electricity is an essential part of our everyday life, however you might have electrical hazards at home you don’t even know about. We’ve put together a quick checklist you can use as a guide to identify potential electrical hazards so you can keep yourself, your family, your pets and our network safe.

    Inside the home:

    • Report electric shocks or tingles to Evoenergy on 13 10 93. 
    • Unplug overloaded power points and test smoke alarms.
    • Replace or have repaired appliances that have frayed cables. 
    • Remove flammable material from light bulbs or power points.

     

    Outside the home:

    • Keep trees and vegetation at least 1.5m from poles and powerlines.
    • Keep sheds and clothes lines at least 1.5m from electrical infrastructure.
    • Ensure your solar PV system maintenance and testing is up to date.
    • Dial before you dig on 1100 before you start renovating.

     

    Download our quick reference checklist and keep it handy so you can make identifying hazards part of your regular routine. Read more information about shocks and tingles on our home electrical safety page, or find our find out about trimming trees and vegetation at home and your solar maintenance responsibilities.

    Got an issue with a streetlight? Access Canberra manage street lights in the ACT, and you can report a broken street light online using Fix My Street.

  • Storms and bushfires

    Storms and bushfires can happen suddenly and without warning and, when they do, can have a catastrophic impact on our community and cause significant damage to our infrastructure.

    In the event of a storm or bushfire, if you see fallen, sagging or damaged poles and powerlines stay at least eight meters away and report it to Evoenergy on 13 10 93. If you see a bushfire or sparking, or the situation is life-threatening, call 000 immediately. Never presume electrical infrastructure is safe, and remember that damaged electrical infrastructure may energise the surrounding area, or other conductive objects such as Colorbond fences. The risk of electrocution is real and it is important to stay alert.

    See more information about how to prepare for outages, or read about how to create a safety kit or bushfire survival plan on our bushfire safety page.

  • Renovating and landscaping

    Thinking of landscaping? Planning to build a pergola or a shed? It doesn’t matter whether the job is big or small, it’s essential to check the minimum safe distance requirements and dial before you dig before you start work.

    There are minimum building clearance requirements for all landowners and occupiers renovating or building near utility infrastructure, and you must ensure you’re authorised to work near the network, or use the services of a company accredited with Evoenergy before you start work. Minimum safe clearances also apply to the erection and use of scaffolding, ladders and lifting equipment.

    Dial Before You Dig is a free, easy and quick way to find to out what electricity, gas, water and sewerage infrastructure is on and around your property. To make a request you can call Dial Before Your Dig on 1100 or online through the Dial Before You Dig website. Once your request is received, Dial Before You Dig will contact the relevant utility services, who send the information to you, generally within two working days.

    To make a Dial Before Your Dig request, call 1100 or visit www.1100.com.au/nsw-act. Read more about minimum clearance requirements on our building near utility assets page, or find out about working near the network on our worker safety page.

  • Working near the network

    Before you plant, trim, landscape, build, dig or demolish near the electricity and gas network, you need to ensure you are appropriately authorised and accredited with Evoenergy and adhere to all safe distance requirements.

    Evoenergy work in partnership with WorkSafe ACT to educate the community and enforce safe work practices in the ACT. Our safe distance requirements apply to everyone working near the network and are essential to promote safe work sites and mitigate the risk of serious injury.

    For more information about working near the network and our safe distance requirements on work sites, visit www.evoenergy.com.au/workersafety.

For more detailed information about safe distances around electricity network infrastructure, see the Electricity Safety Rules, and for gas network infrastructure, see the Gas Service and Installation Rules.

Please note the information contained on this web page is general in nature only, and does not account for all circumstances that may arise. Please make your own inquiries before acting on any of the information contained on this web page. Evoenergy is not responsible for any loss or damage that arises as a result of anyone’s reliance on the information contained on this web page.

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