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Take care when you pitch up this summer

With the school holidays now in full swing and the August bank holiday on the horizon, many will be looking to pitch their tent in the countryside or set out on the open road in their caravan.

From Press releases - 24 August 2017 12:00 AM

Father and son camping image.jpg

Whether it be for a holiday or to while away the weekend at a festival, safety experts at UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity to the East of England, London and the South East, are warning campers to ‘Look out and look up’ before setting up camp to make sure they are not near any overhead electricity lines.

Emma Palmer, the power firm’s public safety and education adviser, said as well as being careful where they place tent poles or TV aerials, campers and caravanners also need to be wary where they start any campfires or tie their washing lines.

She said: “Camping and caravanning are fantastic ways to enjoy the great outdoors and we want everyone to enjoy their leisure time safely.

“Cables and power lines can carry anything from 230 volts to 132,000 volts and even coming into contact with the lowest voltage cables can be fatal.

“Overhead power lines are more common in the countryside than towns and much of the equipment associated with camping and caravanning can easily conduct electricity so it is always wise to ‘look out and look up’ first and then follow some simple guidelines so everyone can be happy – and safe – campers.”
Ian Hewlett, Technical Manager for the Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “Electricity can be extremely dangerous and overhead cables carry much higher voltages than domestic supplies, so follow the UK Power Network advice and always check the area around your pitch for hazards.
“See our advice on camping hazards here at: http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/helpandadvice/camping-safety/campsite-hazards/.”
UK Power Networks advice includes:

• If possible avoid pitching your tent or caravan directly under or close to an overhead power line.
• Be aware of any nearby overhead lines when erecting TV aerials or radio masts next to mobile homes or fixed caravans.
• Metal and carbon fibre tent poles, guy lines, TV aerial poles and almost every other long object can conduct electricity. Electricity can jump across gaps so always carry them horizontally and parallel with the ground.
• Do not attempt to judge the height of power lines, it is dangerous and difficult to do so.
• Never attach or tie anything to electricity poles, pylons or electrical equipment.
• Never light a fire under an overhead line, heat from the fire could cause the wires to sag or break.

UK Power Networks has published detailed guidance for campers and caravanners on how to stay safe near overhead power lines in leaflets on its website www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk

Emma added: “These guides are very useful and not only cover do’s and don’ts, but also dispel a few myths like thinking you’re protected because you’re wearing rubber boots!”