Vegetation safety inspections in bushfire-prone areas are being undertaken across Ausgrid’s network to check for vegetation growing too close to private overhead powerlines.

Chief Operating Officer, Trevor Armstrong, said the checks are part of a network-wide bushfire safety program.

“Private poles and powerlines which aren’t safely maintained by property owners can become a serious bushfire risk and these inspections help reduce the risk of a fire starting.

“Our crews are checking that there is a safe clearance between trees and live powerlines as branches growing too close could pose a fire hazard,” Mr Armstrong said.

“There are about 40,000 privately-owned power poles located in bushfire zones within our network, and those property owners and occupiers are responsible for their safe maintenance and operation.

“If our inspectors find any bushfire hazards they will notify the property owner or occupier of any work required to make their poles and powerlines safe.

“By working together with customers to identify any hazards we can reduce the risk of bushfires.”

Property owners are responsible for arranging their own regular safety inspections of poles and powerlines, including any sub-mains (privately-owned powerlines that extend beyond the customer’s main meter board).

“We remind property owners that they should never approach live powerlines or climb a pole to attempt repairs themselves as contact with them can be fatal,” Mr Armstrong said.

Any repair work required must be done by a licensed electrician, and trees and branches growing within safe clearance distances should only be removed by a qualified tree trimmer.

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