SSEN issues public safety warning after lucky escape near Chippenham

Danger of death - keep off sign on wooden electricity pole

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is urging its customers to report any damage to the electricity network they may come across, and to stay safe around fallen or damaged power lines.

This urgent warning comes after electrical equipment was moved to the side of a road by a member of the public near Chippenham earlier today, following damage to SSEN’s overhead network.

Engineers quickly responded to reports of electricity wires being down in the area and attended site to find that the lines had been moved to the side of the lane. Luckily, upon reports of the fault, SSEN’s control engineers had de-energised the line, which was carrying 11,000 volts of electricity.

Chris Slingsby, SSEN’s Head of Customer Operations for the company’s Ridgeway region, said: “The incident today in Wiltshire could have had serious consequences had the power line been live at the time of our customer moving it. While the customer may have felt they were doing the right thing by moving the line out of the way, it could quite easily have proven fatal for the individual concerned.

“We are urging our communities to be vigilant and report damage to the network as soon as possible, as lines even operating at low voltage can prove fatal in these circumstances. Another common misconception about electricity is that you have to actually touch the line or equipment for it to cause injury.

“We want to ensure our customers stay safe by keeping a good distance away, not approaching damaged or fallen power lines and to report the incident immediately by calling us on 105.”

SSEN’s customers can call 105 to report power cuts as well as damage to electricity power lines, substations or equipment that could put themselves, or someone else, in danger.

In a safety emergency, dial 999 and ask for the police who will contact SSEN directly.

Things to look out for:

  • Damaged or fallen power lines
  • Damage to, or interference with, electricity substations
  • Vehicles or construction activities too close to power lines
  • Damaged or exposed electricity cables
  • Trees too close to power lines or substations

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Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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