Winter is coming... and Armagh has to get ready says NIE Networks

Michael Scott

Reporter:

Michael Scott

Email:

michael.scott@ulstergazette.co.uk

NIE Networks has launched its ‘Preparing for Winter’ campaign to encourage domestic, business and agricultural customers in the Armagh area to make the necessary preparations for the coming winter months.

Although NIE Networks has been working throughout the pandemic to carry out the essential work needed to ensure the resilience of the electricity network, they still want customers to think ahead as supply can be affected by severe weather damage and storms.

Trevor Harron, Network Operations Manager for NIE Networks, wants to ensure that every customer is winter ready, particularly those who are vulnerable or working in the agricultural sector.

He said, “Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic our teams have continued working 24/7 to keep the electricity flowing, including both maintenance work and power cut response. That work is essential for making sure the network can stand up to the severe weather the winter brings and beyond that.

“Although we minimise the loss of power where possible, we want customers to think ahead and plan how they can manage during a power cut. With coronavirus restrictions and life impacted by the pandemic, it’s even more important customers are prepared.

“We particularly want customers who have critical health care needs, as well as those within rural communities and the agricultural industry, to take the necessary steps to ensure any duration of power cut is manageable.”

Customers dependent on life supporting medical equipment are encouraged to apply to the NIE Networks Medical Customer Care Register to receive regular information during a power cut.

NIE Networks has also provided a power cut checklist on their website which includes tips such as locating your trip switch, knowing your unique customer number, stocking up on battery powered lights and having the NIE Networks Customer Helpline number 03457 643 643 easily to hand.

‘Powercheck’ is another excellent resource which provides customers with real time information about a power cut and the status of restoration.

Trevor also wants to remind customers of the dangers that can arise and how to stay safe this winter.

“Broken overhead power lines, stays or poles can occur at any time and it is important customers are extra vigilant during these darker months. It is important that everyone is aware of the risks posed by damaged electrical equipment and how to respond. If customers see anything unusual about our equipment, they should stay well back and report it immediately on our Customer Helpline.”

For further information about what you can do to prepare for winter, to register for the NIE Networks Medical Customer Care Register or to access Powercheck please visit www.nienetworks.co.uk

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