Outdoor safety tips

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Follow these simple tips to improve your safety around electricity when outside.

Electricity is all around us, so we need to be aware and take all necessary care to avoid injury.

For example, if power lines fall or sag, you need to keep your distance and immediately call police and your local electricity distributor. That’s because fallen power lines may still be active, even when they’re touching the ground. If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, it’s safer for you to stay in the car and call for emergency services. Of course, if your car catches fire, you need to get out, and the safest way is to jump clear and land on both feet, avoiding any metal on the car as you jump.

Always be aware of power lines – flying kites and model planes, raising caravan antennas, and so on.

When you’re working with electrical equipment outside, only use equipment that’s been made for use outside, such as a whipper-snipper or lawn mower. Also make sure that your electrical cords are in good condition – if there’s any damage, you either need to get rid of them or have a licensed repairer fix them.

Never connect a piggyback plug or ordinary plug to the end of an extension lead to make it longer, because the pins will be live. This has caused deaths.

For home maintenance, wear proper footwear (sandals and thongs are unsuitable), and be very careful when raising a ladder – keep it well away from power lines and electricity and make sure the ladder has rubber feet touching the ground.

If you plan to do any major projects around the house, such as digging holes or building, make sure you look at our Safety around our network section.

Finally, if you have a swimming pool, take extra care. Large volumes of water, wet bodies and bare feet means any electric shock near a pool can be lethal.