Keep your distance!
Elia believes that safety is paramount. To keep the public informed of the potential hazards posed by our facilities, the group has compiled a brochure entitled Staying safe near high-voltage facilities. Click here to download a pdf version (in French) or here to order a printed copy.
Coming too close to a high-voltage facility can be fatal! You may be at risk even if you don't actually touch high-voltage equipment.
Coming too close to a high-voltage facility can be fatal! You may be at risk even if you don't actually touch high-voltage equipment, since arcing can occur at very high voltages.
You should always keep a safe distance from any high-voltage equipment. The safe distance will depend on the voltage of the facility: the higher the voltage, the greater the distance you should observe. Always make sure to stay at least 10 metres away from any high-voltage equipment!
The wires in a high-voltage line sway in the wind (sometimes up to 20 metres in extreme cases). In hot weather and when the line is carrying a heavy load it can sag (up to 2 metres more than normal). This means that the distance between you and a given point can vary significantly depending on the weather and the electrical load in the line.: this These factors must therefore be taken into account when determining the safe distance.
If you find a high-voltage line lying on the ground, keep at least 10 metres away from it and contact us immediately on our emergency number 0800 95 062 !
Entering high-voltage facilities without authorisation is strictly prohibited. Only Elia-authorised personnel may enter high-voltage facilities.
Climbing high-voltage pylons is potentially fatal and strictly prohibited, except by authorised personnel. A warning to this effect is posted on every pylon. Elia cannot be held liable for any accidents that occur.
It is also important to highlight the possible risks entailed in certain activities performed in the vicinity of high-voltage facilities:
Anyone wishing to carry out construction work or use long or tall equipment in the vicinity of an overhead line must first consult the Elia Contact Centre. The same applies where an exceptionally tall vehicle needs to be moved beneath a line.
Flying close to power lines is dangerous for helicopters, gliders, sports aircraft, microlight aircraft and hang gliders, as well as for parachutists, paragliders and balloonists.
Contact with or flying too close to an overhead line will cause flashover. Remember that high-voltage lines will be less visible if there is reflection or in mist or rain.
Information on the location of high-voltage lines is available from the Federal Ministry of Mobility and Transport and Belgocontrol. The National Geographical Institute regularly produces up-to-date maps showing the location of lines.
Angling in the vicinity of high-voltage lines is dangerous. The materials used in the manufacture of angling rods are generally excellent conductors of electricity. The rods are often very long and it can be difficult to accurately gauge distances when casting. Never fish close to high-voltage lines and never walk under overhead lines with a rod.
Setting up marquees, flagpoles, aerials or other high constructions underneath overhead lines also entail risks. Please be aware of them at all times. Anyone wishing to set up these kinds of temporary structures less than 100 metres from a high-voltage line is legally obliged to consult the Elia Contact Centre.
This also applies to the planting and upkeep of trees near overhead lines. We ask owners of land beneath high-voltage lines not to plant anything taller than 3 metres within 25 metres of either side of the axis formed by a high-voltage line. This obviates the need for any future pruning work that may be required if the trees grow too close to the wires.
Flying kites model aeroplanes or drones in the vicinity of a high-voltage line can cause flashover. If an object becomes caught in a high-voltage line, never try to extricate it yourself.