TEP Offers Spring Electrical Safety Tips
Tucson, Ariz., April 1, 2009 - Springtime in Arizona is a great time for yard work, swimming and many other outdoor activities. No matter what’s on your agenda, electrical safety should be an important part of your plans.
Tucson Electric Power (TEP) offers 10 tips to help you play it safe around electricity when you’re outdoors this spring.
1. Always keep power cords and electrical equipment away from water or other wet areas.
2. Look up and look out for overhead power lines. Be sure you’re aware of any nearby lines before you climb a ladder or extend the handle of a pool-cleaning tool.
3. Call before you dig. Whether you’re a homeowner landscaping your yard or a professional contractor digging utility trenches, remember to call 811 or Arizona Blue Stake at 1-800-STAKE-IT (1-800-782-5348) at least two working days before you dig. It’s a free service, and it’s required by state law.
4. Keep materials, tools and all parts of your body at least 15 feet away from any overhead power lines at all times, including during the installation of antennas or satellite dishes. If you plan to get any closer, state law requires you to make arrangements with TEP – at your expense – that will allow your work to proceed safely. Contact Arizona Blue Stake at the number listed above to make these arrangements.
5. Never fly kites or model airplanes near power lines or radio or TV antennas. If a kite does get tangled with overhead lines, don’t try to get it down yourself, as a kite string can conduct electricity. Instead, call TEP for assistance.
6. Before every use, inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers for frayed power cords, broken plugs and weathered or damaged housings. Don’t use damaged equipment until it has been repaired properly. Keep tools unplugged and stored in dry areas when they are not in use.
7. Before you trim tree limbs and shrubs, watch out for power lines that could be hidden by foliage. Contact TEP if there are concerns about tree limbs growing into or around overhead power lines on your property.
8. Keep vegetation and permanent structures away from the large, green ground-level boxes that house components of an underground electrical system. TEP workers may need to access the underground lines and equipment near these boxes during unplanned outages and routine maintenance.
9. Do not use electric-powered mowers on wet grass or around water. Always use an insulated extension cord designed for outdoor use with the correct power rating for that equipment.
10. Treat all electric lines with caution and respect. Even low-voltage electric lines and cords can be hazardous if damaged or improperly handled.
TEP, a subsidiary of UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS), provides safe, reliable power to about 400,000 customers in southern Arizona. For more information about TEP, visit www.tep.com. For more information about UniSource Energy, visit www.uns.com.
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