• logo_ues_aqWhile springtime is a great time to soak up some sun, trim your trees or skim where you swim, UniSource Energy Services (UES) is reminding customers that it’s also an important time to be careful around outdoor electrical equipment.

UES is using bill inserts and radio commercials in March and April to share springtime safety suggestions that can help customers avoid contact with energized electrical equipment. If warmer weather invites you outside for gardening, pool maintenance or even flying a kite with your children, use the tips below to stay safe.

Watch for hidden power lines when trimming trees, shrubs and other vegetation.

  • Contact UES’ Customer Care line at (877) 837-4968 if you have questions or concerns about tree limbs growing near overhead power lines on your property.
  • Customers are responsible for keeping foliage at least 15 feet away from the service lines that connect their homes and businesses to UES’ electrical distribution system.
  • Customers who wish to clear tree limbs away from an electric service line must first call UES’ Customer Care line to ask for a free, temporary suspension of electric service.
  • Take precautions to prevent tree limbs from damaging electrical equipment when trimmed.
  • Contractors need special qualifications to work near energized power lines. If you’re a contractor, ignoring safety precautions near UES facilities can cost you your license – and your life. Call UES before you start any work near our facilities.
  • Always assume power lines and nearby equipment are energized. If you make contact, call UES right away. Even if there aren’t any injuries or visible damage, UES must make sure the equipment is still operating safely.

Avoid using ladders, pool skimmers and other long tools near power lines or other electrical equipment.

  • Keep tools, materials and all parts of your body 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 for UES to temporarily de-energize the equipment so that your work can proceed safely. Keep this in mind when working on antennas, satellite dishes or your evaporative cooler. Roof-mounted equipment should be installed away from overhead power lines.
  • Keep long items such as ladders and poles parallel to the ground on your way to your work site.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, gloves and enclosed footwear, when using electric tools.
  • Do not use electric-powered mowers or other equipment on wet grass, around water or in the rain. Always use an insulated extension cord designed for outdoor use with the correct power rating for that equipment.

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. 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 UES for assistance.
  • Keep balloons and remote-controlled aircraft or drones away from overhead lines.
  • Teach kids to never climb or play around power poles 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.
  • Keep vegetation and permanent structures away from the large, green ground-level boxes that contain components of UES’ underground electrical system. UES 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 and other equipment 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, don’t go near it; call 911 immediately.

UES provides electric service to approximately 93,000 customers. It also delivers natural gas to approximately 150,000 customers in northern and southern Arizona. To learn more, visituesaz.com. UES and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc., which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. To learn more, visit fortisinc.com.

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