Storms, bushfires and summer safety
At Jemena, we’re committed to doing everything possible to ensure your electricity supply needs are met, no matter the season. Sometimes however, extreme weather events can cause a power outage. Here’s what you need to know and do to stay safe.
- Be prepared for emergency events
- Ensure torches are readily accessible with batteries
- Have your mobile phone charged and where possible, activate the internet
- Update your safety and maintenance plans
- Business customers need to ensure mitigation plans are up to date and ready to be activated
If you depend on life support equipment and haven’t yet done so, please notify your electricity retailer (who manages your account and bills) that you’re a critical care customer so they have the right measures in place.
You may also like to prepare and share an emergency plan with others, covering elements like:
- Whether and how you may need help leaving home
- Whether you’ll need to take any special equipment with you
- Whether you’ll need an alternative power source to run life-support equipment, and
- Anyone who needs to be notified of your movements, like relatives or carers
- In the event of a life threatening situation, please call 000
- Check your neighbour's house to see if they’ve also lost power. If their power is on, check your meter box to see if your safety switch has been tripped. If you’re not confident doing this yourself, please contact us on 131 626
- Keep clear of fallen powerlines as these should always be treated as live and dangerous
As your local electricity distributor, it’s our job to repair and restore power in your area after an outage (if needed, with the help of emergency services). So what can you expect if the power goes out?
- Supporting the safety of the public and our crews is always our number one priority. So before we can give any time estimates for restoration, we need to carefully assess any damage to our network to determine what we need to do to get the power back on safely.
- Once an assessment is made by our crews, an estimated time of restoration (ETR) is displayed on our current outages page.
- We’ll work to restore power to essential services first, such as hospitals. Then we make repairs that will restore power to the most customers and people who've been without power the longest.
- We also restore power on a circuit by circuit basis. So, if you see lights on across the road and your power is still out, it just means your circuit hasn’t been restored yet.
For more information and advice on managing power outages, see our outages page or visit the Victorian Government Energy website.
Preparing for bushfire season
Each year before bushfire season, our crews work hard to implement our annual bushfire mitigation program and proactively reduce the risks to and from our electricity network in bushfire prone zones. This includes:
- Cutting back vegetation around and under poles and wires
- Monitoring, testing and recording the condition of our assets to help avoid potential sparks
- Applying special safety procedures on total fire ban days
- Ensuring processes, policies and procedures are understood by all employees and contractors
- Ensuring our network operates in full compliance with Energy Safe Victoria laws and regulations.
Are you bushfire ready?
For advice on how to prepare your property, updates of areas affected by fires and details on emergency situations, visit the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) website.
To check if your private overhead powerline is in a bushfire risk area, visit the Country Fire Authority (CFA) website.
Private power lines
If you have private power lines or a private power pole on your property, it's your responsibility to inspect and maintain them. If you're unsure where our network ends and where your responsibilities begin, read our private overhead electric lines brochure or contact us.
Regularly inspect power lines
As power lines and poles are exposed to the elements it’s important to have them inspected routinely by a licensed electrical professional. Please don’t risk your safety by attempting to closely inspect any wires yourself. To ensure your safety on days of total fire ban, we may sometimes disconnect any defective private lines. Reconnection will occur when any dangerous conditions have subsided and charges may apply.
Keeping power lines clear or moving them underground
For safety reasons, you also need to ensure powerlines are free of vegetation, trees and other obstacles. For information on minimum clearance zones see the Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2010. If you’d like to consider undergrounding your power at any stage, just contact us.