Prune and reduce hazards in the garden

NORTHERN Rivers home-owners are being urged to think carefully about the distance of vegetation from electrical assets before pulling on the gardening gloves.

It takes less than a second for electricity to pass from a powerline through an object to a person, and Essential Energy has reminded green thumbs electricity can jump or arc across an open space.

Essential Energy Regional Manager Northern, Mark Summers, said the mature height of trees and bushes should be considered when planting on your property.

"All trees should be planted at least 15 metres, or a distance equal to their fully-grown height, away from powerlines and poles,” Mr Summers said.

"Avoid planting trees, shrubs or bushes around substation transformers as this can hinder access or affect underground equipment through root entanglement or damage.

"If there is a risk debris could fall across power lines or if vegetation is less than three metres away from poles or wires, don't attempt pruning and lopping. Contact Essential Energy to arrange an inspection.”

"When using ladders and pruning equipment around the yard, keep well clear of overhead powerlines.”

If you come across a fallen powerline, stay at least eight metres away from it or fences or trees that it may be in contact with, and immediately contact Essential Energy on 13 20 80.

For more information about safe planting and pruning around the electricity network, visit

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