Northern Powergrid

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Fishing Rod Fire SmallNorthern Powergrid, the company that powers everyday life for 8 million people, is asking anglers to make sure their next catch isn’t deadly by looking up.

The company which delivers electricity to 3.9 million homes and businesses, through its network of some 28,000 kilometres of overhead lines, 39,000 kilometres of underground cables and more than 63,000 substations, is urging anglers to request a copy of its free information pack so they know how to stay safe when fishing.

Fishing rods and poles made from carbon fibre and similar materials conduct electricity, with many other materials also allowing electricity to flow along them when wet. At higher voltages electricity may jump short distances through the air.  This means that angling equipment does not have to touch an overhead power line for anyone holding it to suffer a serious electric shock and burns that could result in death.

Gareth Pearson, Northern Powergrid’s Head of Health, Safety and Training, said: “We want anglers to know about the very real dangers of power lines and how to fish smart.

“It’s crucial that anglers always check their surroundings for overhead lines and only unpack and set up at the water’s edge once they’re sure it’s safe to do so. They should also pack up their rod at the water’s edge and never walk with it upright. Power lines on wooden poles can carry voltages of up 132,000 volts and are often difficult to see in poor weather conditions or at duck or dawn. Electricity can jump gaps meaning you don’t even need to make direct contact, so it is vital that you are fully aware of your surroundings.

“We are encouraging anglers to request our free safety pack, which includes an information leaflet, a tacklebox sticker, so emergency advice is readily available, and a poster that can be displayed at angling clubs or on information boards.”

To request a free safety pack or download Northern Powergrid’s information leaflet visit

If anglers do find themselves in an emergency, they should:

  • not attempt to move the fishing equipment or person, if either is still in contact with, or close to, the overhead power line.
  • remember power lines may stay live after contact or may be re-energised automatically or remotely without any warning.
  • prevent third parties from entering the incident area and maintain at least a five- metre clearance.
  • call Northern Powergrid using 105, the free and easy to remember power cut number.
  • contact the Emergency Services by dialling 999 and request an ambulance, if required.