FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mar 19 2015 12:00:00:000AM
News Media Contact: Joseph Barrios, (520) 884-3725, jbarrios@tep.com

TEP Offers Outdoor Electrical Safety Tips for Spring

Tucson, Ariz. — Spring is a great time for getting outside and getting things done, like trimming trees, cleaning your pool, landscaping or even flying a kite.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) reminds you that all these activities can bring you into contact with energized power lines — including some you may not notice until it’s too late. So when you’re working or playing outside, please use the tips below to stay safe.

  • Watch for hidden power lines when trimming trees and shrubs, and watch for tree limbs that could damage electrical equipment when trimmed. Customers are responsible for keeping foliage at least 15 feet away from the service lines that connect their homes and businesses to TEP’s electrical distribution system.
  • Contact TEP’s Customer Care line at (520) 623-7711 if you have questions or concerns about tree limbs growing near overhead power lines on your property. Customers who wish to clear tree limbs away from an electric service line must first call TEP’s Customer Care line to ask for a free, temporary suspension of electric service.
  • Avoid using ladders, pool skimmers and other long tools near power lines or other electrical equipment.
  • Call 811 before you dig so underground utility lines can be marked. Whether you’re a homeowner landscaping your yard or a professional contractor digging utility trenches, call at least two working days before you dig. This free service — which is required by state law — can help you to avoid making contact with underground power lines.
  • Teach kids to never fly kites or climb trees near power lines. If a kite gets tangled in overhead power lines, don’t try to get it down yourself because kite string can conduct electric current, injuring or killing anyone who touches it. Don’t try to retrieve kites, balls or other toys that land in electrical substations. Instead, call TEP for assistance.
  • Keep all parts of your body, materials and tools at least 15 feet away from any overhead power lines and other electrical equipment. If you need to get any closer, state law requires you to first make arrangements with TEP so that your work can proceed safely. Keep this in mind when working on antennas, satellite dishes or your evaporative cooler.
  • Contractors need special qualifications to work near energized power lines. If you’re a contractor, ignoring safety precautions near TEP facilities can cost you your license — and your life. Call TEP before you start any work near our facilities. Always assume power lines and nearby equipment are energized. If you make contact, call TEP right away. Even if there aren’t any injuries or visible damage, we need to make sure the equipment is still operating safely.
  • Keep vegetation and permanent structures away from the large, green ground-level boxes that contain components of TEP’s underground electrical system. TEP workers may need to access equipment near these boxes during power outages and for routine maintenance. Children should be taught never to sit on or play around these electrical structures.
  • Treat all electric lines with caution and respect. Even low-voltage electric lines can be hazardous if damaged or improperly handled. If you ever see a downed power line, call 911 immediately; don’t get near it.

TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 414,000 customers in southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com.

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