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Encouraging and teaching our customers to be safe around electricity is one of our most important roles in our community.

When out in the community, we want you to play safe and stay safe around our electrical equipment.

Electrical equipment includes power boxes, poles, lines and substations, and they are everywhere in our community, for the sole purpose of ensuring you have power.

This equipment transports live electricity and is not to be tampered with by the public. If not treated with caution and respect, the results can be life threatening.


Power Boxes

Our power boxes come in many different shapes, sizes and colours and carry varying amounts of electricity (between 230 volts and 11,000 volts) to power many different properties around our community.

Our large green power boxes installed at the front of your home, near the footpath, convert electricity from 11,000 volts down to 400 volts.  The smaller, plastic power boxes convert the supply from 400 volts to 230 volts, suitable for your home.

These boxes can kill!

Never play on or near power boxes:

  • Always ensure children and teenagers know that playing on or around these boxes can be fatal – they should never jump on, sit, or stand on power boxes.

  • Never poke anything (poles, sticks etc.) in to any power box - damaged power boxes are a serious risk

  • Damaged power boxes are also a serious safety risk – teach your family that damaged power boxes can still be ‘live’ and should never be tampered with.

  • tampering with or causing damage to power boxes (taking the lid off, deliberately hitting it with other objects etc.) is not only potentially fatal, it is also a criminal offence,

  • If you see a damaged power box, always call Unison immediately and stay away from the box, and ensure others do as well, until we deem the area safe.  If your children spot a damaged power box, it’s important they know to:

    • stay far away – and ensure others do as well,

    • tell an adult to call Unison, and

    • ensure others stay away while waiting for Unison to arrive.

If you spot any unauthorised person tampering with electrical equipment, call both Unison and the Police immediately.

Unison Work Sites

When we’re working around the community, our primary concern is the safety of our public and our people.

Unison Contracting carries out many different projects in our regions, such as excavation to lay underground cables, replacing power poles, and installing power boxes and large transformers.  We take great care to ensure the appropriate traffic management and site safety plans have been implemented to protect the community from any potential hazards created by the works.

Sometimes, these jobs may take more than one day to complete, requiring work sites to be unattended outside normal working hours. During these times, it’s important to ensure children and teenagers are aware of the dangers of unattended work sites.

Our work sites must comply with safety standards at all times, however, we require our public to exercise good judgement when it comes to work sites around the community.

If you have questions or concerns around a Unison work site in your area, give us a call on 0800 2 UNISON.


Substations are large, fenced areas housing high voltage transformers, power lines and other equipment to convert high voltage electricity (33,000 volts) to a lower voltage (11,000 volts), which can be used to power our community.

These areas are extremely dangerous to the public and unauthorised entry inside can result in serious life-long or fatal injuries.

Teach children to never climb or throw objects over substation fences. Any sports equipment or other items which make their way over substation fences should be left where they are until someone from Unison is able to retrieve the item

Power Poles and Lines

Power poles are built to carry the power lines which give us electricity. These power lines carry electricity at either 33,000 volts (going into our substations) or 11,000 volts (to supply the community).

Being safety conscious around power poles and lines is very important. Ensure your family are aware of these important messages around power poles:

  • Climbing power poles is never a safe idea!  Even if you don’t touch a live line, electricity can ‘jump’ as it tries to find earth.
  • Playing on stay wires (wires connected from the top of the pole to the ground, to stabilise the pole) can cause the pole to de-stabilise, meaning it could fall over.

Play Safe...
It always pays to look up and look around before you start activities like flying a kite, fishing, or flying model airplanes. If you see any overhead lines nearby, stay well clear of them.

If you own a boat…
Make sure you know the height of your masts, aerials and rod holders above land when towing, and above water when sailing. Any load over five meters tall will require a High Load Permit to transport.

Take care transporting your boat by land; check your route, launching and sailing areas for power lines or signs warning of power lines or cables. High voltage electricity can jump to your mast or aerial if you get too close to overhead power lines, with the potential of causing serious burns or death for you or those nearby.

If a boat mast has brought down the power lines around a car, the safest way to avoid electric shock is to stay in the car until help arrives. Only attempt to leave the car if there is additional risk to life such as a fire.  See our tips on staying safe around fallen power lines to learn the best techniques for leaving the vehicle.

Preventing low flying aircraft and ballooners from coming in contact with power lines is a priority. Pilots and ground staff need to be vigilant for known hazards, and should check with Unison and Transpower when scheduling activities such as aerial displays. Be aware that new lines may have been erected and activities such as tree clearing may have exposed lines previously hidden.