Bonfires close to power lines could be fatal - NIE

The bonfire at Garvagh
The bonfire at Garvagh

TWELFTH bonfires which are built too close to overhead power lines, could be potentially fatal, NIE have warned.

As the final preparations are being made ahead of the Twelfth, NIE have issued a safety warning.

“We have had reports of bonfires being erected under or close to high voltage electricity lines.

“This is a very dangerous practice as the smoke and heat from bonfires can cause electrical arcing and sparking, and in some cases lines may be brought down by the fire.

“Bonfire debris and flames anywhere near power lines and electricity substations are a serious risk to everyone’s safety and wellbeing.

“Bonfires also need to be kept clear of hidden hazards, such as trees which might have electricity lines running close to them.

“Electricity can jump gaps so you don’t need to come into direct contact with live equipment to risk electrocution.

“The electricity network is safe when left alone but can be potentially lethal if you get too close.

“We are working with the local communities and elected representatives to highlight the dangers but, in some cases, we may need to cut electricity supplies and customers in the area may be without electricity until the danger has passed and NIE emergency crews have completed any repairs and safety checks.

“Our advice is simple, stay safe this summer by staying well away from overhead electricity lines and equipment.”

If you are concerned about safety around the electricity network, please contact NIE on 08457 643 643 or visit for more advice.