DIY tree trimmers lucky to be alive

Ergon Energy, blackout, powerlines

A number of home gardeners in Queensland are lucky to be alive after the trees and vegetation they were cutting recently came into contact with powerlines.

The incidents have prompted Ergon Energy safety advisor Kevin Hore to remind everyone to Take Care and Stay Line Aware before they undertake any tree trimming, especially in areas with overhead powerlines. 

“In the past couple of weeks our crews have been to five incidents around the state where the home owners were cutting vegetation too close to high-voltage powerlines, causing trees to fall into them,” Kevin said.

“In one case the bamboo being cut touched 22,000-volt powerlines. In other incidents the falling trees brought down powerlines, not only creating an immediate danger to those nearby, but also cutting power to their neighbourhood.

“So our message is clear. Never cut trees, tree branches or other vegetation anywhere near overhead powerlines because you can kill yourself or others instantly.

Related article: Ergon shelves non-critical works

“Either call a professional tree trimmer or Ergon Energy on 13 22 96.”

While all DIYers should keep a lookout for overhead powerlines, Kevin said underground power was also a serious safety concern people should be aware of when digging around their property.

“If you live in an area with underground power, you should be aware of where cables and other services run beneath the surface before you start digging.

“In yards with underground power, cables will generally run in a direct line from the green pillar box on the footpath to the home’s meter box, but if there is any doubt on the location of the underground cable a licensed electrician will be able to find the exact position.

“If you’re digging outside the fence line, you must call the free Dial before you Dig service on 1100 and specially trained staff will give you the details of the cable and other service layout near your property.

“There are very few second chances when coming into contact with any electricity and everyone must remember to Take Care and Stay Line Aware.”

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