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Camp safely this summer

Festival-goers are being urged to ‘spot that glitch before they pitch’, to reduce the risk of camping accidents involving overhead power lines.

Last year, our engineers responded to more than 370 incidents where members of the public had come into contact with overhead lines.

As the festival season gets underway, organisers and revellers are being reminded that contact with overhead lines causes electric shocks, severe and debilitating burn injuries and, in some cases, death. The warning also applies to anyone who is planning on camping this summer. Tents and awning poles made from metal, carbon fibre or similar materials will conduct electricity. Many other materials will allow electricity to flow along them when they are wet. At higher voltages, electricity may jump short distances through the air.

Eddie Cochrane, Safety Adviser, said: “Every year, we respond to hundreds of incidents where people have come into contact with overhead lines and, as festival season approaches, this is a timely reminder of the dangers posed by electricity, especially when camping. “Campers and caravan users can avoid these dangers by ‘spotting that glitch before they pitch’ and setting up camp safely away from overhead power lines.”

There should be a gap of at least six metres between overhead lines and the tent’s highest point – this includes tent flags, which are popular with festival campers.

Top five tips on camping safety:

1. ‘Spot that glitch before you pitch’. Never pitch your tent underneath an overhead   power line – and don’t fly tent flags too close to overhead lines.

2. Tent poles and almost all long objects can conduct electricity. When erecting or moving aerials or tent poles, keep at least six metres between the aerial and the overhead power line. Always carry long objects, like tent poles, horizontally and parallel with the ground.

3. Fly kits or model aircraft away from overhead power lines. If a kite is blown towards a power line, let go of the string, keep clear and call 105 – this is WPD’s emergency number.

4. Tell the site manager or festival organiser if you spot a dangerous situation or near miss involving electricity.

5. Look out for overhead power line warning notices and signs prohibiting camping in certain areas of the site.


Do’s and don’ts for festival organisers

1. Festival organisers are advised to include information about the dangers of positioning flag poles and tents too close to overhead lines in flyers, and on festival websites and social media;

2. Site managers should be trained to identify and avert potentially dangerous situations involving electricity, for instance, where there is less than six metres between a tent’s highest point and overhead power lines.

for more information please visit Camping Safety.