At Horizon Networks, we take safety seriously.  As part of keeping you safe it is important we remind everyone on our network about the dangers of working with or around electricity.

As well as offering a collection of general safety tips to keep you and your family safe around electricity, Horizon Networks provides a full range of network safety services.

View the information below to learn more about our safety tips and services and remember we’re here to answer any questions you have.

Working near electricity

Noticed a problem with a power line? Call Horizon Networks on 0800 HORIZON

Stay away from power lines. Contact with power lines can be fatal or cause serious injury. Be aware of the dangers. Keep you, your workmates and your family clear of all power lines, poles and boxes at all times.

Work safe around power lines. Remember…

  • Presume power lines are "live" at all times. Stay well away!
  • Keep well clear of downed lines.
  • Do not dig around power poles. If you have to work or excavate around power poles, call us first to arrange consent.
  • Do not trim trees that are close to power lines – contact an expert .
  • Be aware of the minimum safe approach distance.
  • Take extra care when transporting or using long objects that might touch the lines. You don’t have to be in contact with a line to be injured or killed. High voltage electricity can jump from one object to another. Read more about high load consents

Working near power lines?

You require Close Approach Consent.

For times when you need to work near power lines or poles, please download and apply for close approach consent.

Need a hand to work out the details or get a quote for line work before submitting the consent? Please contact 0800 HORIZON

Moving high loads?

You require High Load Consent.

Moving a house, machinery or any kind of high reaching object can interfere with power lines. If you plan to move a high load, apply here for a high load consent. We’ll check your planned route for obstructions and give you essential advice.

Digging near power lines?

Contact Horizon Networks before doing any work around power poles and lines. Excavating the ground near a power pole could weaken it, causing it to fall down.

Underground cable danger. Check before you dig!

Underground cables can kill. Check for buried cables before carrying out any digging work. Use a cable locating contractor, maps of the area and the OSH booklet to guide you safely.

Be prepared

Be prepared for an outage so you, your family, business and community are safe and comfortable until the power comes back on.

What can you do to be prepared for a power outage?

Before it happens:

  • Talk about it! Show children where you keep a flashlight and explain the safest way to evacuate the house.
  • Keep a flashlight and spare batteries in a safe place.
  • Keep alternative cooking fuel nearby, i.e. gas for the BBQ.
  • Keep a phone that doesn’t use electricity handy.
  • Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in your home.
  • Install smoke alarms in your home and test them regularly.
  • Get a surge protection device for electronics at risk of power surges.
  • If you live rurally, have a backup water supply in case your water pump does not work.
  • If you rely on medical equipment that uses electricity, ensure you have worked out a backup plan in advance.

During the power outage:

  • Use a flashlight.
  • Switch off all electronic equipment, like stereos, TVs, computers and appliances, as well as kettles and heaters. When the power comes back on, they won’t be effected by any unexpected power surge or come back on without you noticing.
  • Do not open the fridge or freezer. Freezers will keep your food frozen for at least a day after the power goes off.
  • If heading outside, stay well clear of damaged power lines or broken power poles. Traffic and street lights may not be working. Keep off roads if at all possible
  • Use your backup plan for medical equipment that relies on electricity, and in an emergency, call 111

If you areunsure about what to do in the event of an electrical emergency, contact Horizon Networks on 0800 467 496.

How to protect your business in a power outage

  • Talk to staff about what to do in the case of an outage or emergency. Have a plan.
  • Make sure staff know alternative work locations and can get in contact. Have a system organised to divert phones to mobiles if needed.
  • Work out an alternative storage plan for any perishable goods that may be kept at your place of work.
  • Plan manual alternatives for when EFTPOS and credit card facilities are inoperative.
  • Do you have insurance in place? Check the small print to find out how long the power needs to be out before your policy covers your business
  • Your electricity retailer will notify you of planned electricity network outages. Check your terms and conditions for notification periods and compensation allowances.
  • If needed, organise a back up generator.
  • Protect sensitive equipment from power surges and know what machinery and electronic equipment will need resetting when the power comes back on.

Staying safe near Horizon Networks equipment

Slow down. Check first. Save lives.

Working near power lines and electrical equipment puts you and your workmates at risk. Builders, arborists, farmers, electricians and anyone moving a high load need to be aware of the dangers.

Here are some safety tips to ensure you and your workmates stay safe when working near power lines and electrical equipment:

  • Check before you dig or bulldoze - locate underground cables and use an approved cable locator contractor before any excavation work.
  • Disconnect before you work near power lines - it is easy and free during business hours.
  • Always look up first - check your overhead lines are safe and well clear of obstructions.
  • Trim trees within the safety guidelines and only use an approved contractor. 
  • Regularly check for wear and tear on power lines placed on privately owned land and farms for fallen or damaged lines. 
  • Electric fences need to be signposted and should meet the requirements of AS/NZS 2014. Contact us for more information
  • Only use licensed electrical contractors for any electrical work

 

Staying safe around the home

Your home is your haven. Talk to your family about ways to stay safe and sound in and around your house, garden or farmland.

At Horizon Networks, we take safety seriously.  Our staff are specially trained to work in a potentially hazardous environment but there are some simple ways you can ensure your safety when near electrical equipment.

At the beginning of summer and winter, check each room in your home for electrical safety.  Work through the lists below.  Invest 10 – 20 minutes of your time now, it may save a life or prevent an accident in the future.

For more information about electrical safety, contact Horizon Networks on 0800 467 496.

Inside your house

Water and electricity do not mix

It is a basic rule and one we all need to remember. Remove appliances and cords from damp or wet areas. Dry hands before touching household appliances or plugs of any kind. Teach children about the danger.

Sockets and switches

  • Ensure all sockets, switches and multi-boxes are working properly with no damaged or broken plugs, sockets, light switches or light fittings.
  • Check that all sockets and switches are cool to the touch.
  • Ensure all electric plugs fit snugly into the sockets.
  • Always turn the power off at the wall before unplugging any appliances or devices.
  • Place multi-boxes up high, out of the reach of children and don’t overload by plugging one multi-board into another.
  • If required, install safety devices such as RCDs, shuttered sockets and recessed outlets.
  • Limit the number of appliances plugged into one outlet to reduce the load drawn from the circuit.
  • Only connect one heater per outlet.

Cords

  • Ensure all electric cords are in good condition, with no cracking or fraying in the outer cover or any internal wires exposed.
  • Ensure all electric cords clear of rugs and furniture.
  • Extension cords must only be used for temporary purposes only. If not, ask an electrician to install a socket-outlet where needed.
  • Ensure all cords are stowed away so they can’t be tripped over, damaged by furniture, or caught in any way.

Lighting

  • Ensure you have the correct bulbs in your light fittings and lamps.

Portable electric heaters

  • Always follow the "heater metre rule" with all heaters at least one metre away from anything that could ignite or burn.
  • Ensure all heaters are in good working condition with no broken parts, funny noises or smells.
  • Regularly maintain and clean your heater and dispose of damaged or very old heaters.
  • Always switch off heaters and appliances before you leave the house.

Electric blankets

  • Replace your electric blankets after two or three years of use.
  • Ensure electric blankets in good condition with no scorch marks, kinks, exposed or damaged wiring.
  • Store your electric blankets flat or rolled in corrugated cardboard when not in use.
  • Regularly test your electric blanket.
  • Always read more about how to test, store and keep your electric blankets safe

Appliances

  • Regularly clean the lint from your clothes-dryer filter - check it each time you use it.
  • Keep your stove top clean and clear of things that could ignite or burn - such as paper towels and plastic cords - keeping them at least one metre away from the elements.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use. Do all small appliances operate correctly? Are all small appliances around your home in good condition with no exposed wiring, unusual noises or smells?
  • Ensure all cords to electric appliances are stored out of the way and out of reach of children.
  • Turn off and unplug appliances before poking anything inside them – no forks in the toaster!

Residual Current Devices (RCDs)

  • Do you have RCDs installed in the damp areas of your home where you have electrical outlets - such as the bathroom and laundry?
  • Test RCDs regularly.
  • Do you use an RCD or an isolating transformer with all electrical equipment outside?

Fuses and circuit breakers

  • Learn how to change a fuse correctly.
  • Ensure all fuse wires are the correct size for the circuits on your switchboard.
  • If you have fuses blow often, get your home checked by a registered electrician.

Outdoors

It always pays to look up and look around before you start an activity such as fishing, DIY, kite or model plane flying. If you see any overhead lines nearby, stay clear of them.

Electricity always seeks the easiest, most direct path to the ground.  This means if something you touch comes into contact with overhead power lines, the electricity will pass through that object to you – causing death, severe burns or other injury. Read more about trimming trees near power lines.

  • Are all power lines well clear of buildings, structures and trees?
  • Are all outside electrical outlets protected by an RCD or an isolating transformer?
  • Always disconnect the power before you climb a ladder near power lines.
  • Look up before you move or set up your ladder.
  • Think and stay when doing DIY. Check your tools can be used outside - do not use power tools in the wet conditions.
  • Look and plan before you dig - locate underground power cables before any excavation.

Medically dependent

Do you use medical equipment that needs a continuous supply of electricity?

Make sure you have a back up plan for unexpected interruptions to your power supply.

We understand that for those customers who rely on electricity to power essential medical equipment, a power outage can be a stressful time. However we can not guarantee a continuous supply of electricity at all times and temporary outages do occur. For planned outages, you should receive advance notification through your chosen retailer or by mail drop prior to the outage.

Be prepared

We recommend you make a back up emergency response plan that includes an uninterruptible power supply like a fully charged standby battery and the ability to move to a friend or family member’s house that isn’t experiencing an outage.

Please register as a medically dependent consumer (MDC) with your electricity retailer, so we are aware of your needs.

If your health is under threat, call your doctor or call 111



Further information and the MDC Guideline is available at the Electricity Authority’s website.

Who owns the lines?

As a property owner, you may be surprised to learn you might own and be responsible for maintaining power lines, regardless of whether they are overhead or underground.

What do you know about power lines?

View more information on Who Owns the Lines

Your responsibility

Who owns the electricity lines on your property?

The lines company owns the lines and equipment usually running along the side of the road (or underground), up to the point of supply. The point of supply is generally a fuse at the top of the pole or in a service pillar or pit on your boundary. They’re responsible for the repair of faults on the network or with equipment. 

However, you may not realise that as a property owner you are responsible for the maintenance of the electricity lines on your property – called service lines. If you own an industrial or rural site then you may well own and maintain the high voltage overhead lines and underground cables on your property too. You probably own all the equipment on your property except for a few items such as meters and hot water relays, which are the responsibility of your electricity retailer.

Who maintains these assets?

Along with this ownership comes the responsibility to maintain. That means making sure all structures stay in good condition and that they are not put at risk by trees or any building works. You’re also responsible for ensuring your connection doesn’t interfere with the quality of supply taken from the network by other customers. If there is a fault on your service line, you may be responsible for the cost of repair and a possible call out charge.

We’re here to help

The team at Horizon Networks is keen to help. Contact us to organise an assessment of the lines and equipment on your property to check its condition and any associated risks. We can set up an ongoing maintenance programme and even advise on whether you should look at installing any backup systems like a generator. Best of all, we can work on live lines so if you need some offending trees to be cut back, or other work to be undertaken near lines, then we can do it while your power stays on! Live lines servicing is vital for anyone whose livelihood relies on the power staying on.

Trees close to service lines? Digging near underground cables?

Keep you and your family safe. Carry out regular checks to ensure the lines and poles on your property are in good shape. Make sure lines are well clear of trees and scrub. If you’re having any work carried out on a service line, contact us first for advice and to supply an approved contractor.

Going underground?

Building a fence? Digging around poles or possible underground cables? Check before you dig! Contact us first as we know the approximate location of our network and can provide an approved locator. Reduce the risk, read this OSH guide for more information.

How to protect indoor electrical equipment

Computers, TVs, computers and appliances are vulnerable to fluctuations and surges in power and power outages. Install back-up devices or surge protectors (plug ins or wired into your mains) and check your insurance covers voltage fluctuations. Check our Stay Safe Around the Home electricity checklist above for more safety tips and ideas.