A tree next to powerlines. Contributed photo

Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative is reminding residents to use care when picking fruit or trimming trees near overhead power lines.

“Serious accidents and injuries can occur when objects come into contact with an energized line,” KIUC Transmission and Distribution Manager Carey Koide said in a press release.

KIUC is reminding the public that when trimming trees or picking fruit, to be aware of the power lines that may be close to trees. KIUC officials are asking the public to not try to trim a tree close to a power line, and instead call a professional tree trimmer or arborist.

Safety Tips

—  Be aware of your surroundings before using any 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 if they become tangled in the line.

If any object is caught in a power line, assume the line is energized and do not attempt to free it yourself. Call KIUC at 246-4300 to make a report.

KIUC is also reminding residents that it’s not just the overhead lines people should look out for; underground utilities can also be a risk when digging and planting trees. To be certain to not accidentally dig into any lines and risk serious injury or a costly service interruption, contact Hawaiʿi One Call Center at least five days before digging by simply dialing 811. Never assume that utility lines are buried deeper than you plan to dig.