SA Country Fire Service

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POWER INTERRUPTIONS TO REDUCE BUSHFIRE RISK

30/10/2013

The Country Fire Service and SA Power Networks are using Bushfire Action Week to remind South Australians that they could face interruptions to power supplies during the Fire Danger Season in Extreme or Catastrophic fire conditions.

CFS Chief Officer Greg Nettleton said people who decide to defend their property in these conditions should prepare for the possibility of a power failure as part of their Bushfire Survival Plan.

"People need to plan for the potential loss of mains-fed power," Mr Nettleton said.

"It's important for people to develop a plan now to back up their power supply, otherwise it could be too late on the day and they may even put themselves and their families at risk."

SA Power Networks Stakeholder Relations Manager, Paul Roberts, said there were many reasons why power may not be available in a bushfire situation.

"There are many potential outage causes, including damage to power lines caused by a bushfire, equipment failure, or supply being turned off to reduce the risk of a fire start involving electrical infrastructure.

"Bushfire situations are fast moving and a pre-warning is unlikely. Power restoration also may be delayed if there is significant damage to the network or if we need to inspect lines in areas where access may be restricted or difficult."

Mr Roberts said legislation to turn off power in extreme bushfire risk situations to protect lives and property was put in place after the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires and had been activated twice in recent years.

Emergency services such as CFS, SES and SAPOL, and utilities including SA Water and Telstra, have developed contingency plans to deal with the loss of power supplies in bushfire risk situations.

Information on power outages is available by calling SA Power Networks on 13 13 66, registering for SMS or email updates via the free service Power@MyPlace or via smartphone, tablet or computer at www.sapowernetworks.com.au

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For media enquiries telephone the CFS Media Line on (08) 8115 3531.

Further information:
Contact the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361, for hearing or speech impaired users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1800 362 361 or teletype service TTY 133 677 then ask for 1800 362 361.
Other options are available at National Relay Service.
Or visit www.cfs.sa.gov.au

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