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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 20, 2010

HECO demonstrations warn of electrical safety hazards

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Sparks fly and electricity arcs as Ken Timoteo, a primary switchman with Hawaiian Electric Co., uses a cutter to sever the same kind of cable used to bring power into homes. It was part of a demonstration today about electrical safety hazards.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Safety experts from Hawaiian Electric Company today conducted sometimes dramatic demonstrations of electrical safety hazards.

HECO said the program at the utility's Ward Avenue baseyard was held in recognition of National Electrical Safety Month and to raise awareness with the summer mango season at hand.

Safety tips were offered for picking fruit or working in trees near overhead power lines.

Demonstrations showed the effects of a high-voltage electrical contact with common tools used by customers and emergency personnel.

HECO offered the following safety tips:

Always be alert and take precautions when working in or around trees near overhead power lines. If any part of the tree is touching a line, the tree can become energized.

Use the 10-foot rule: Always keep your body and any ladders, tools or other implements at least 10 feet from power lines.

Keep items such as antennas, kites, model airplanes and metallic balloons away from power lines. Do not hand fireworks from utility poles.

If you see an object caught in a power line, do not attempt to free it yourself. Call the HECO trouble line at 548-7961. Call 911 if it is an emergency.