Safety around underground boxes

Are you one of the many people who have wondered “What are all the little black and grey boxes on the footpath/side of the road …?”.

These are Network Tasman’s ‘underground boxes’.  They are the protective covers we place over the fuses that connect the underground power cables to the service cables conveying electricity to your house or business. As these boxes have live electrical components inside them, it’s important for public safety that they have securely fitted covers.

We have about 12,000 underground boxes on our network, most of them in urban areas.  As they are generally in public spaces they sometimes get damaged when:

  • vehicles accidentally run into them, causing the cover to loosen or crack
  • people drill holes or insert screws into them
  • some have their covers removed by people not authorised to do so.

These are all dangerous situations, as they can expose you to the live electrical parts inside the box and put you at risk of electrocution.

If a box gets repeatedly damaged by vehicles, we will look at putting protective bollards around it.

Underground boxes must be left alone and only network-approved contractors are permitted to remove the covers. Putting screws into an underground box or drilling holes into one is extremely dangerous!  If anything ever causes you to need to interact with a box please phone us. 

If you accidentally damage an underground box, or if you see one that has been damaged, let us know straight away by phoning our fault line 0800 508 100.

 

If you have any questions about the electricity industry or would like to suggest a potential topic for Network Tasman’s monthly column, please send us an email with ‘News Article’ in the subject line to info@networktasman.co.nz