FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 30 2010 12:00:00:000AM
News Media Contact: Joseph Barrios, (520) 884-3725

UniSource Energy Services Offers Spring Electrical Safety Tips

Kingman, Ariz. " Spring's warm weather is a great time for yard work, swimming and many other outdoor activities. At work or at play, it's important to keep electrical safety in mind. UniSource Energy Services (UES) offers these tips to help you stay safe around electricity when you're outdoors.

  • Look up and look out for overhead power lines. Be mindful of any nearby lines before you climb a ladder or extend the handle of a pool-cleaning tool.
  • Keep materials, tools and all parts of your body at least 15 feet away from any overhead power lines at all times. If you plan to get any closer, state law requires you to make arrangements with UES that will allow your work to proceed safely. Keep this in mind when installing or repairing an antenna or satellite dish or preparing your evaporative cooler for summer use.
  • Before you trim tree limbs and shrubs, watch out for power lines that could be hidden by foliage.
  • Safe options are available for removal of tree branches and other vegetation that have grown into or near overhead power lines on your property. The first step is to call UES's Customer Care line at 877-UES-4YOU (877-837-4968) with your questions or concerns. Tree branches and other vegetation should be kept at least 15 feet away from overhead power lines. UES can temporarily suspend electric service so that vegetation can be safely pruned.
  • Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers for frayed power cords, broken plugs and weathered or damaged housings before every use. 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. And always use an insulated extension cord designed for outdoor use with the correct power rating for that equipment.
  • Always keep power cords and electrical equipment away from water, wet grass or other wet areas. Keep this in mind when using electric-powered mowers or other lawn equipment.
  • Never fly kites or model airplanes near power lines. 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 UES for assistance. Don't fly your kite when a thunderstorm is brewing.
  • 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.
  • Keep vegetation and permanent structures away from the large, green ground-level boxes that house components of UES's underground electrical system. UES workers may need to access the underground lines and equipment near these boxes during power outages and for routine maintenance.
  • Treat all electric lines with caution and respect. Even low-voltage electric lines and cords can be hazardous if damaged or improperly handled. And if you EVER see a downed power line, call 911 immediately; don't get near it.

UES, a subsidiary of UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS), 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.