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Looking out for guy wire safety on rural properties

Looking out for guy wire safety on rural properties

Local farmer Murray Mortimer is urging his fellow farmers to check poles and lines on their properties after recently attending a cow which had become distressed and was electrocuted, when a guy wire became live on his property.

It was identified that the lack of an insulator on the guy wire as a secondary protection was the cause of the guy wire becoming live.

Thankfully Murray recognised the dangerous situation through risk of electrocution and did not approach the cow, a decision which prevented potential serious harm.

Murray's message to farmers

“My message to fellow farmers is to check your poles to see that your stay wires are insulated,” says Murray. “In the storms we’ve had there will be damage around, and it’s important to take your time, stop, slow down and think – take the time to check what’s going on before approaching an animal near lines.”

“Check your poles and guy wires have insulators on them and if not let Northpower know.”

You can learn more about Murray’s story and the potential life-saving decision he made in this interview with Northpower Chief Executive Andrew McLeod.

Safe guy wires

For everyone’s safety it’s important to check that guy wires:

  • Have an insulator on them
  • Are well anchored, intact and not compromised by severe rust
  • Are nice and tight (not slack at all)
  • Northpower are out and about every day checking the safety of our 5,500km of lines, but your real time ‘eyes on the ground’ can help us with that.

If you do come across a guy wire that has come loose or doesn’t have an insulator, please send us a photo with the location to or give us a call on 0800 667 847.

Find more information on how to stay safe around guy wires here.