Outside the home

When working or playing outdoors, be aware of potential safety dangers.

  • Ensure your home has a safety switch. Test your safety switch every 3 months. Simply press the ‘test’ button once and the switch should automatically trip.
  • Take care with portable electric tools. Ensure a safety switch is installed on your switchboard or use a portable safety switch for added safety.
  • Remember water and electricity don't mix. Always wear synthetic or rubber-soled shoes when using electrical equipment in the laundry or outdoors. Turn off and unplug appliances after use.
  • Keep appliances away from swimming pools.

Powerlines - overhead and underground

  • 'Take care, stay line aware' and look out for overhead powerlines when moving equipment and ladders around your property. This includes cleaning and painting, planting or pruning trees, cleaning pools, moving boats, farming equipment and heavy machinery.
  • Stay at least 3m from the service line and attachment point - the one that connects power to most homes.
  • Stay clear of fallen powerlines, warn others to stay away and call Triple Zero (000). Any electrical faults, including brown outs, might be caused by fallen powerlines. Always assume fallen powerlines are live. Stay well clear and warn others.
  • Don’t fly kites or model aeroplanes anywhere near overhead powerlines.
  • Know where underground cables are. Call Dial Before You Dig on 1100 or request your plans at www.1100.com.au.

Powerlines and tree safety

  • Check with your local nursery to ensure that you’re planting a powerline friendly tree.
  • Before planting, always check for overhead powerlines and consider how tall and wide your tree will grow.
  • 'Take care, stay line aware' and don’t attempt to trim trees or branches near powerlines.
  • Always call a professional tree trimmer to trim any vegetation that may be close to powerlines.

Building near powerlines

Contact us when planning construction work near powerlines, or if it appears that powerlines are closer to a building or structure than the minimum statutory clearance.

Situations where minimum safety clearances should be considered include:

  • Knock down and rebuilds, where a small, single story home is replaced by a larger or double story home
  • Moving the location of a driveway or building driveways close to pillars or poles
  • Installing a tall antenna in areas where broadcast reception is poor
  • Erecting a flag pole or shade sails
  • Any building work near overhead or underground powerlines
  • Erecting a carport, shed or a cubby house
  • Raising the ground level below powerlines.
  • Erecting metal fences or scaffolding close to poles or powerlines
  • Excavating near poles, stay wires or where electricity assets run underground.


Hi Aaron here with a simple home safety check for the next time you plan on doing some work around the home.

Before you get stuck into any work, it’s important to have a think about what you’re going to be doing and assess any risks associated with the job.

Let’s start with the appropriate protective clothing.

Quality footwear with rubber or plastic soles and a good pair of gloves are always a sound investment in your safety.

Next, if you’re going to be doing any drilling, check to see that there are no wires behind the wall, in the ceiling or under the floor.

To do this properly, look for visual signs or use a voltage detection stick, commonly known as a test pencil and available from most hardware stores.

Also ensure that you have a safety switch installed in your home and check to make sure it’s working before you start working.

Now let’s move outside to have a look at safety around the yard.

Before you do any digging, make sure you know where all underground cables are.

If you’re unsure, call ‘dial before you dig” on 1100.

Doing some planting? Check with your local nursery that the plants you buy are powerline friendly.

If you do have any trees or branches around power lines don’t try and trim them yourself. Always call in a professional.

While you’re online why not check out our other short electrical safety videos. And remember, make your safety checks routine and always be aware of the dangers of electricity.