UniSource Energy Services offers 10 tips to help you play it safe around electricity when youre 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 youre 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 youre 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. Its a free service, and its 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 UES 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, dont try to get it down yourself, as a kite string can conduct electricity. Instead, call UES for assistance.
6. Before every use, inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers for frayed power cords, broken plugs and weathered or damaged housings. Dont 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 UES 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 green, ground-level boxes that house components of an underground electrical system. UES workers may need to access the lines and equipment near these boxes during power outages or for 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.
UES, a subsidiary of UniSource Energy Corporation, provides natural gas and electric service to about 236,000 customers across Arizona. For more information about UES, visit uesaz.com. For more information about UniSource Energy, visit uns.com.