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Don’t take the power out when burning off

Published: 31 Jul 2018 8:40am

With the bushfire season officially beginning tomorrow (August 1), Ergon Energy is urging property owners planning burn-offs to take precautions to prevent damage to the electricity network.

Regional Field Manager Southern Max Hogan said damage to power poles from burn-offs could be expensive to repair and cause extended power supply interruptions to customers in neighbouring areas.

Mr Hogan said the risk of damage to the network from seasonal burning-off operations on rural properties could be mitigated if acreage owners, farmers and graziers took a few simple precautions:

  • Clear around the base of poles before you burn off and, if local advice is required regarding this approach, please contact Ergon Energy on 13 74 66.
  • Don’t burn too close to poles or powerlines.
  • Then after the burn-off, check that power poles have not been damaged or left smouldering or in danger of catching alight.

“These small steps will make a big difference to the continuous supply of electricity to your area,” he said.

“Property owners should also be aware they can be liable for the repair costs if their negligence results in damage to Ergon’s poles or wires.”

Mr Hogan said that although the bushfire season only began officially tomorrow, there had already been a significant number of bushfires in rural areas and crews were ready to respond to any damage to the network as soon as it was safe to do so.

“When an area is impacted by bushfire, we ask landowners to promptly check for any damage to poles and wires as part of their property inspection,” he said.

“In some cases, this can allow us to carry out any repairs required before they cause an outage, limiting the inconvenience to the local community.’’

Mr Hogan reminded landowners of their obligation to acquire a permit to burn from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services for any burning off activity.

He said property owners with private poles should take the same precautions when burning off, otherwise they may need to engage a licenced electrical contractor to repair any damage.

If any poles or wires are damaged by a burn-off or bushfire, call Ergon immediately on 13 22 96, or call Triple Zero (000) in a life-threatening situation.

Media Contact: Rod Rehbein
Phone: 4153 9813 or 0407 031 072