Western Power Distribution (WPD), the company responsible for the electricity pylons and power lines, has joined the emergency services to encourage the public to download the what3words in case of emergencies.
The #KnowExactlyWhere summer safety campaign raises awareness of the free what3words app and how it can be effectively utilised in an emergency to save time, resources, and in some cases, lives.
The what3words app divides the world into 3-metre squares and gives each one a unique three-word address. This means that every point on the planet can now be identified simply.
WPD has been using what3words to find fallen power lines and customers in need of assistance. People can also report incidents such as damage to overhead lines or substations, even if they’re not entirely sure where they are. Using the three words linked to their location on the app, 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 WPD colleagues and to customers who are more likely to be in isolated or hard-to-find locations.
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.”