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How can utilities prepare for bushfire season?

7 September 2023

As summer brings hot weather, Australians start cleaning out the pools, going on holiday and most importantly, preparing for bushfires. It’s vital for utilities to take the necessary precautions with bushfire season approaching for most of the country to prevent their equipment and infrastructure from accidentally causing a fire. For network operators, this means clearing vegetation near assets and equipment. But without a comprehensive management system to keep track of overgrown trees or fallen branches, utilities can fall short of their obligations.

Xugo helps with bushfire preparation and vegetation management

Taking preventative measures

The two main influencing factors on bushfires in Australia are climate and poor vegetation management. 

Preparing for bushfire season involves organisations and individuals clearing vegetation around their properties and public spaces, as dry leaves and branches on the ground can act as kindling for a fire and cause it to spread out of control.

For utilities, this involves regularly trimming branches or clearing grass near powerlines as bushfires can start from a branch accidentally touching a powerline, especially when the weather conditions are hot and dry.

But in order to prevent such a thing from happening, utilities need a system to monitor everything from excess foliage and faulty powerlines.

How Xugo can help

Xugo is comprehensive work management software (WMS) used by utilities across Australia to keep track of their regulatory compliance requirements, including bushfire preparation and vegetation management.

Vegetation management is one of the most expensive recurring tasks for electricity network operators in Australia. Even though regulations can vary state-to-state, Xugo provides a single authoritative system to streamline compliance and make what is normally a complex process, easy to accomplish.

Using Xugo, utilities can prevent oversights and enable immediate response when it comes to meeting vegetation management obligations – thus minimising the risks that come with the summer bushfire season in Australia.

Xugo stores all information needed to prove compliance, including reports, incidents and maintenance history and can automate tasks such as data entry to give utilities real-time updates, providing consistent information for both the organisation and regulatory authorities.

Not only can Xugo help utilities keep track of where foliage and plants need to be cleared, but also point out infrastructure that is in poor condition and could pose a potential safety risk, including faulty powerlines. This helps to understand what needs to be done up to and during those dangerous bushfire season months.

Streamlining compliance

If utilities fail to mitigate the risks of accidental fires caused by their assets, it will mean significant penalties, damage to property, environmental destruction or even the loss of human life.

Using Xugo, utilities can prevent oversights and enable immediate incident response when it comes to meeting their obligations.

A comprehensive work management system should encourage good decision-making with a single system for all information that can automate tasks and keep everyone informed at all times.

For utilities, Xugo offers the tools to make vegetation management easy, giving the best chance to prepare for bushfire season and keep communities safe.

As seen in the Utility Magazine January 2023 edition

Want to learn more about Xugo

With SFI's Xugo, you can make your operations more efficient with full overview of your vegetation management activities - annual planning, coordination of LiDAR collection and analysis, field service activities, track & allocated work, schedule resources, reporting, management of incidents & equipment inspections. Get in touch and follow us on LinkedIn.