Public Safety

December 2017
Summer Safety – Electricity Safety Tips

Maintaining clearances around power lines

Power line safety

  • Touching a power line is dangerous and can result in serious injury or property damage.
  • Electricity can spark or jump across a gap.  You can be some distance away from a power line and still receive an electric shock or severe burns.
  • Overhead lines move due to the effects of wind, temperature and load on the line, so always be cautious around them.

Safe clearances

Safe clearances between building work and power lines minimise the risk of electric shock, fire, power cuts, or damage to property and power lines.

The minimum safe clearance between power lines and buildings depends on the voltage of the power line and the type of conductor.  Types of power lines can usually be recognised by their construction and by the type of insulator or number of disc insulators which separate the power line from the power pole or tower.

To protect people and property, minimum safe clearances from power lines have been established in Regulations under the NZ Electrical Code of Practice for Electrical Safety Distances (NZECP 34:2001). Prior to any planned construction a process for establishing safe distances from power lines must be undertaken to comply with this code of practice.

For all of the above you must check with your electricity supplier to find out what the power line voltage is so you can establish the right clearance.

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