writes Martin Lea.

FARMERS and landowners in Dorset are being urged to report any damage they find to the electricity network on their land following the recent storms.

The call comes from power company Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), which wants to know if its infrastructure, including cables and power lines, have been affected by the Storms Ciara and Dennis.

It says reporting infrastructure damage is straightforward; dial the free-to-call 105 emergency number, allowing SSEN to target engineer support where required.

The system enables anyone to call in from a landline or mobile - and automatically connects callers to the network operator in their region - to flag up any areas of damage. This allows the network operator to act as quickly as possible and allow for repairs to be made that could otherwise escalate if left unattended.

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In addition, the development of SSEN’s Power Track app, which can be downloaded for free to any mobile device, means that power cuts and damage to infrastructure can be reported at the click of a button – even allowing the user to add photographs of the damage and its location - while keeping customers up-to-date on any power issues in their area.

SSEN’s network operational safety manager, Ian Crawley said: “We appreciate how much people working on the land can assist us in keeping our network safe and secure. By reporting any issues they identify on our electricity infrastructure, they can help prevent power cuts or even the possibility of someone being hurt.

“I’d ask anyone who sees something associated with our network that causes them concern to contact us as quickly as possible. SSEN may need to gain access to land or property in an emergency, but the sooner we are aware, the sooner we can act and hopefully limit any further damage and allay any potential power cuts.”

Network issues to look out for include:

  • Damaged or fallen power lines
  • Damage to, or interference with, electricity substations
  • Vehicles or construction activities too close to power lines
  • Damaged or exposed electricity cables
  • Trees too close to power lines or substations

Mr Crawley added: “The 105 emergency number and SSEN’s Power Track app are free to use and we’d urge anyone working in our rural areas to load them onto their phones, so they always have them to hand. They’re incredibly easy to use and enable anyone to report issues quickly and safely.”