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Power company’s safety pitch as Essex campers urged to ‘look up’ at pop-up sites

15 Jul Power company’s safety pitch as Essex campers urged to ‘look up’ at pop-up sites

The UK’s biggest electricity distributor is urging campers using temporary pop-up sites in Essex this summer to stay safe and be aware of any overhead power lines.

With continuing uncertainty around holidaying overseas, record numbers of people will opt for a staycation this summer with a huge rise in temporary camp sites emerging to meet that increased demand.

Commercial pop-up campsites are now allowed to open for 56 days without requiring planning permission, double the previous length of time.

UK Power Networks, which distributes electricity to 8.3 million customers across London, the South East and East of England, wants to remind everyone of the importance of staying safe on staycation.

The company wants those heading for the great outdoors on temporary sites to ‘Look Out and Look Up’ to make sure they are not setting up camp near any overhead power lines.

Debbie Chachulski, a safety advisor at UK Power Networks, said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves this summer, but would always encourage people to consider their safety and take the time to understand the risks of their surroundings.

“Temporary campsites will enable many of us to have a fantastic holiday this year, but you could have the potentially worrying combination of people visiting who may not have camped much before, staying at pop-up venues who are new to hosting so our message is to take care.

“We would caution people to be mindful where they place tent poles or washing lines and wary where they start any campfires, or if they try a leisure activity they haven’t done before such as fishing.

“Overhead power lines are far 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.

“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.”

Key advice includes:

·         If possible avoid pitching tents or caravans directly under or close to an overhead power line

  • Be aware of overhead lines when erecting TV aerials or radio masts next to mobile homes or fixed caravans
  • Metal and carbon fibre tent poles, guy ropes, TV aerials and other long objects can conduct electricity. Electricity can jump across gaps so always carry them horizontally and parallel with the ground
  • 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

Further safety advice can also be found on the UK Power Networks website while any emergency incident or damaged cable can be reported by dialing 105.