Electricity is part of our everyday lives.  It"s easy, convenient and invisible, which can make us complacent about safety.  In fact, electrical energy can cause severe injury, or even death, especially when a path to the ground is available.

Here's how to live safely with electricity when you venture outdoors.

Stay clear of transmission and power lines

Never use a ladder or place a TV antenna or satellite dish near overhead power lines.

Keep children away from substations or transmission/power lines.

Don't allow or encourage your children to play near electrical infrastructure.  Climbing nearby trees should be disallowed too.

If you can do so safely, drive away should a power line fall on or near your car.

If you can't drive away safely, stay inside your car and call 000 immediately.  Phone the power company too, if possible.  Do not leave the vehicle and tell others to stay a safe distance away.

If there is another danger, such as fire, and you must exit the vehicle, place both feet together and jump as far away as possible.  When you land, quickly shuffle or roll away from the vehicle. 

Avoid touching the car at all and never touch the car and ground at the same time.

Don't fly kites near power lines or in bad weather

To get to the ground, electricity or lightning can travel right along your kite string.  Never use wire or metal on your kite, because these are strong electrical conductors.

In bad weather avoid water, trees and poles

Lightning strikes can occur during certain storms causing serious injury.  During a storm or its build-up stay out of pools, rivers or lakes and don't stand near trees or poles.

Keep radios and appliances away from swimming areas

If splashed, appliances can conduct electricity through that water and create a dangerous situation.  Think safety and move appliances at least 4 metres away from your pool or swimming area.  If an appliance does get wet, don't touch or go near it while you're wet or standing in water.

Use an outdoor extension cord

Choose the right tool for the job.  Check your electrical extension cord packaging and be sure to use only cords designed and made for outdoor use.

Use power tools away from water

Most power tools are built for dry condition use.  So don"t risk an electrical emergency near water or in the rain.  In wet conditions, power cord insulators don't always work.  If someone nearby is using an electric mower or hedge trimmer, avoid activities like watering or washing your car.

Electricity and water don't mix

Avoid touching electrical machinery, even vending machines, if it's raining or you are standing in water. Never touch wet electrical wires or switches.

Leave meters and transformer boxes to the experts

Call you supplier to repair your electrical meter or other electrical equipment around buildings.  Never attempt to fix or alter anything about this equipment yourself.

Remember, some wire fences are electrified

For many reasons, but mainly to protect buildings, animals and crops, some wire fences are electrified.  If you, your pets or children touch the fence, you may get shocked or injured.

For safety's sake, stay away from electric fences.


Steer clear when you see "high voltage"

Signs indicating high voltage are a warning to stay clear.  Avoid getting any closer when you read a notice like this and keep children well away.

Dial Before You Dig

Before you turn the first sod, call 1100 or visit www.1100.com.au