Kauai Utility urges residents to stay away from power lines

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Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) wants to remind residents to use care when picking fruit or trimming trees near overhead power lines.

In late August, a Koloa man using a metal fruit picker touched an energized line that passed through a mango tree. The man wasn’t hurt, but the picker was burned and the contact caused an outage in the area.

KIUC reminds customers that when trimming your trees or picking fruit, be aware of the power lines that may be close to trees. Don’t try to trim a tree close to a power line. Call a professional tree trimmer or arborist.

Please remember the following safety tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings before using any metal tools, poles or ladders.
  • Look up and around for power lines before starting any harvesting or trimming. Lines can be hidden in the branches of large trees. If any part of the tree is touching overhead power lines, the tree can become energized and a potential hazard.
  • Always keep at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines. This includes ladders, pickers, saws, clippers and any other tools that you may use to pick fruits or trim trees.
  • Never trim trees that have power lines going through them.
  • Keep metallic balloons, kites, antennas and flying toys away from power lines. They can cause outages of they become tangled in the line.
  • If you see any object caught in a power line, assume the line is energized and do not attempt to free it yourself. Call the 24-hour KIUC trouble call line at (808) 246-8200.

It’s not just the overhead lines one should look out for; underground utilities can also be a risk when digging and planting trees.

To be certain that you do not accidentally dig into any lines and risk serious injury or a costly service interruption, call Hawaii One Call Center, at least five days before you dig at 1-866-432-7287.

Never assume that utility lines are buried deeper than you plan to dig.

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