Electricity > Safety & Preparedness > Preparing for Bushfires



Don't rely on your energy supply during a bushfire


Bushfires, smoke and other factors beyond our control can cause interruptions to your gas or electricity supply, meaning that supply cannot always be guaranteed. It is very important that your bushfire plan includes a contingency for a lack of gas or electricity because:

  • supply may need to be disconnected when requested by either the CFA or MFB to assist in fighting the bushfire or to prevent other fires from starting 
  • some poles and overhead wires and gas pipes may have been burnt or damaged by fire 
  • automatic disconnection switches may activate, cutting off supply in high winds or if a tree or branch falls on the overhead line 
  • the effect of smoke and fire may cause interruptions to electricity supply 
  • your area may experience some loss to supply even though the fire is some kilometres away
  • loss of supply may affect water pressure and communications. Energy reconnection may take some time as the affected area may be inaccessible.

Water pressure affected

  • Mains water pressure may be low and in some case there may be no mains water supply
  • Mains water supplied sprinkler systems and hoses may not operate
  • Electricity powered water pumps may not operate


  • Telephones may fail to work if telephone lines are burnt 
  • Electricity operated radios and televisions may fail to function 
  • Lights may not work

Reconnection of supply

  • This may take up to several hours or even days, depending on the time needed to gain access to the affected area, repair damaged equipment and to ensure that poles and overhead wires are safe to use.

Plan to survive - what you can do...

  • Establish an overall effective plan for dealing with bushfires. Be clear about when you decide to remain and when you decide to leave
  • Contact your local community fireguard or CFA for assistance in developing your plan 
  • Have an alternative water supply 
  • Use a back-up generator to pump water from a designated water supply 
  • Keep a mobile telephone handy, if possible and ensure the battery is well charged 
  • Keep battery-operated torches and radios handy and a fresh supply of batteries nearby 
  • Review your plan annually and check all of your equipment on a regular basis


What we’re doing to help prevent bushfires


AusNet Services has a comprehensive program of activities and initiatives which are helping reduce the risk of powerlines starting bushfires, and also improving reliability in bushfire areas.

Each year we invest hundreds of millions of dollars maintaining and improving the safety of the electricity network and controlling nearby vegetation.


For more information about what AusNet Services is doing, click here.

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