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Back to Press Releases 12 January 2016

Reminder: ESB Networks advises public to remain vigilant as flooding recedes

Boat users warned to stay clear of overhead lines and electrical equipment on roads and fields 

ESB Networks is advising all electricity customers to be extra vigilant as the current levels of flooding begin to recede.  The combination of water and electricity is extremely dangerous and extreme care  is required at all times to stay safe.

ESB Networks reminds members of the public and emergency services to exercise particular care when moving around flooded areas in boats and other flotation vehicles.

The electricity network is designed  to have ample clearance for access and egress during normal conditions. However, when areas are flooded, this clearance level may be affected.  The electricity network is live and should not be approached. Electricity wires are dangerous and, even at close proximity and where clearance is compromised, you should not pass under them.

If you see any sagging electricity wires or wires submerged in water, please do not steer your boat over these. Do not use oars or anything else to lift or move electricity wires.  Please report any poor clearance issues immediately to ESB Network at 1850 372 999.

ESB Networks is currently assessing the electricity network in flooded areas to assess damage and identify safety issues.

Members of the public are reminded:

  • Never to touch electrical appliances, cables or equipment while standing in water or where appliances are wet or in water. Avoid any fallen or reduced height electricity wires or ground-mounted equipment that be partially or fully submerged.
  • Flooding to land, roadways, rivers and streams create particular dangers, with members of the public much closer to the overhead wires because of the change in levels. Particularly care is required in by boat-users in flood waters when crossing beneath electricity wires at their lowest point.
  • Where electrical installations are at risk due to flooding, electricity supply should be turned off immediately at the isolator switch fuse box if it is safe to do so. Fuseboxes are usually near the meter position which may be inside a property or in an outside meter cabinet. If this is not possible, unplug electrical appliances where it is safe to do so. If in doubt,  contact a registered electrical contractor.
  • A certificate from a registered electrical contractor may be required before your premises can be reconnected.

Damaged electrical equipment or fallen electricity wires on roads or in fields should be also reported immediately to the ESB Networks Emergency Number - 1850 372 999.

Arthur Byrne, Safety Manager at ESB Networks, says: “As well as the hardships that many people are enduring with flooded homes, farmland and roads, there are  important personal safety matters that need your attention. As the floods recede, it is important to remain vigilant because previously unseen dangers may now be more immediate.  Before your electrical installation is reconnected, have it checked out by a registered electrical contractor.”

For updates and more information on the safe use of electricity, please follow us on Twitter (@ESBNetworks), access our website and listen to our regular safety messages on national and local media and online.

Listen to Audioboo of Bernardine Maloney, Corporate Communications Manager at ESB.