Electricity company echoes calls for use of what3words app in emergencies

The business responsible for the region’s electricity pylons and power lines is encouraging the public to download the what3words app in case of emergencies.
An example of a what3words address – ‘fillings.munch.crawled’.An example of a what3words address – ‘fillings.munch.crawled’.
An example of a what3words address – ‘fillings.munch.crawled’.

The call from Western Power Distribution (WPD) echoes those made by the emergency services as part of the #KnowExactlyWhere summer safety campaign.

The what3words app divides the world into three-metre squares and gives each one a unique three-word address. WPD has been using the app to find fallen power lines and customers in need of help.

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People can also report incidents such as damage to overhead lines or substations, even if they are not entirely sure where they are. Using the three words linked to their location, callers can direct WPD staff straight to the incident.

WPD contact centre team manager Rebecca Betty said: “If someone is on a footpath or driving along and they see a line down, they can tell us where they are using what3words. It is really useful for people who are not at a fixed location.

“If a farmer has taken a line down in the middle of a field, we are able to pinpoint their precise location. We had another customer ring about a line down at her stable yard.”

Health and safety adviser Craig Wakefield-Coates has been promoting the app to those who are more likely to be in isolated or hard-to-find locations.

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Craig said: “In an emergency situation, we traditionally use grid references which are easy to get wrong, or postcodes which do not pinpoint an exact location, especially if you are talking about the middle of a field. With what3words, we can pinpoint someone’s location to the exact square.”

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