VECO: Don’t fly kites near power lines

By PR |April 06,2018 - 04:00 PM

CDN File Photo

Flying kites near power lines may cause power outages and electrocution.

This was the warning of the Visayan Electric Company, Inc. (VECO) to children and parents, especially since summer vacation has started.

Although kite-flying is a summer tradition for many Filipinos, VECO Assistant Vice President for Engineering Operations Noel Modesto said flying kites near power facilities is dangerous and may cause power outages and electrocution.

“Many children, and even adults, look forward to playing with kites during the summer. VECO would just like to remind everyone of the potential hazards of flying kites near power lines,” Modesto added.

In 2017, VECO’s Distribution Services Department recorded a total of 38 kite-related incidents, which caused a total of 55.45 hours of power outage. Last year’s figures, however, were lower compared to 2016 figures, which recorded a total of 74 kite-related incidents that resulted to 122.48 hours of power interruptions.

Modesto said the lower number of kite-related incidents that resulted to power outages is a good indication that people are heeding VECO’s call to be responsible kite flyers.

“We hope that the numbers will continue to go down as people are now more aware of the risks that come with kite-flying, as well as the possibility of public disturbance should their kites cause power outages. VECO will continue to work hard to inform the public about the hazards of kite flying in areas near power facilities and we look forward to zero kite-related incidents,” he said, adding that kite flying should only be done in open areas, away from overhead power lines, substations and other electrical installations.

In Cebu City, City Ordinance 1471 prohibits flying kites near power lines, telecommunication lines and other similar facilities and provides that kite flying should only be done in areas that are 3,000 square meters big, which is equivalent to six basketball courts.

The remaining open spaces in Cebu City that satisfy the requirements of the ordinance are mostly in mountain barangays and at the South Road Properties.

Modesto added that those who fly kites should also use cotton, linen or nylon strings and not metal, wire or wire reinforced strings because these can cause electrocution when these get caught in power lines. It is also not advisable to fly kites when it is drizzling because cotton or nylon strings, when wet, become conductors of electricity, and may cause electrocution if these get caught in power lines.

VECO also warns against retrieving kites that get caught in power lines. Once a kite gets caught in overhead power lines, release the string immediately and do not pull it or attempt to climb the electric pole to retrieve the kite. The electric utility also advised against getting inside power substations to retrieve kites.

“Kite owners should immediately call VECO’s 230-8326 hotline or send a message at VECO’s Facebook page and we will immediately send a crew to the area,” Modesto said.

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