Spring beckons us to head outside to trim trees, tend to landscaping and play. But before you do, review these five electrical safety tips to keep your family safe.

1. Call 811 before digging.

April is National Safe Digging Month. Whether you’re a homeowner landscaping your yard or a professional contractor digging utility trenches, state law requires that you call 811 at least two working days before digging or excavating so that utility lines can be located and marked. This free service can help you to avoid cutting underground lines.

2. Look up and around.

Avoid using ladders, pool skimmers or other long tools near power lines or electric equipment. When you do use these, look up and around to make sure you’ll avoid making contact with overhead power lines. Keep all parts of your body, materials and tools at least 15 feet away from any overhead power lines and other electrical equipment. Keep this in mind when working on antennas, satellite dishes or your rooftop air conditioning unit.

3. Stay away from downed power lines.

If you ever see a downed power line, call 911 immediately. Stay away, stay alive. You should treat all electric lines with caution and respect. Even low-voltage electric lines can be hazardous if damaged or improperly handled.

4. Play it safe.

Keep kids safe by not allowing them to 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 because 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 TEP for assistance. Also, please don’t allow children to sit or play on or around any of our electrical structures.

5. Trim safely.

Watch for hidden power lines when trimming trees and shrubs, and watch for tree limbs that could fall onto electrical equipment below and cause damage. Customers are responsible for keeping foliage at least 15 feet away from the service lines that connect their homes and businesses to TEP’s electrical distribution system.

Customers who would like to remove tree limbs that are near an electric service line must first call TEP’s Customer Care line to ask for a free, temporary suspension of electric service. If you see tree limbs growing near overhead power lines on your property, please call TEP at (520) 623-7711.

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