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School vacations: EDP alerts about risks to fly kites near the electrical grid

Friday 05, July 2019

Over 65 thousand clients around Alto Tietê went without power between January and June due to kites on the grid; school recess increases the amount of incidents

Flying a kite, or “papagaio” as is commonly referred to, is a healthy activity and common with kids and even adults. During the school recess and vacations, the activity grows more common, and that is why EDP reinforces the message to keep it safe, especially when it comes to staying away from the electric grid. The company also shines a light on other measures to ensure safety during the holidays.

According to the Brazilian Association of Electrical Energy Distributors (Abradee), kites are the fifth leading cause in deaths related to electrical energy in the country considering the period between 2009 and 2017, only behind building construction/maintenance, clandestine instalments, antenna installation and tree trimming. During this period, 77 deaths were registered.

Between January and June 2019, EDP answered 992 incidents of kites in the electric grid that supplies the Alto Tietê region, leaving over 65 thousand clients with no power at some point during this time. During incidents, the supplier’s teams are called in to repair and clean the damaged grid, which in most cases has the protecting layer of the wires cut by the line of the kite, interrupting the energy supply to the region.

Marcio Jardim, executive manager of EDP reinforces the importance of a safe practice to this activity. “We work to re-establish supply of energy as fast as possible, but our main concern is with safety. We know that both glass wax and chilean lines which are still widely used, both contain glass dust, which is a highly conductive substance, enabling serious accidents to both people flying kites and others in the vicinity”

Ato educate the population and alert children and adults alike on how to reduce risks when flying kites, EDP and the EDP institute carry out projects year-round in the county’s communities where the distributor is present, especially in schools and areas with high incident rates due to kites.

At the following guidelines are to be observed:

  •    Not only are glass wax and “chilean lines” banned by law, they bring serious risks to motorcyclists and pedestrians and are a peril when they come in contact with the energy grid. If they cut the protective layer of the wires, the line interrupts the current of electrical energy and can cause a short-circuit;   

  •   Fly kites far from electrical grids, in places where there are no energy lines, telephone service or cell phone antennas. This avoids interference in the quality of these services;    

  •    If a kite gets stuck in the electric wires, don’t attempt to remove it. Never use poles or climb a post to remove a kite. The shock in these cases may be fatal;

  •    Throwing objects at the electric grid to try and bring down a kite can cause serious damage. The “lança-gato” (line tied to a rock) or any other object should not be thrown at the grid;

  •   Flying kites on places such as rooftops or on top of walls should be avoided. The proximity to high tension wires increases the probability of serious and fatal accidents, besides the risk of power outs.   

  •   In the event of lightnings, reel in the kite immediately. Do not fly kites on rainy or excessively windy days;

  •   Some materials used to make kites are natural conductors and increase the risk if coming in contact with electrical grids. Kite tails made of VHS or tape reels and aluminum foil are some examples;

An accident caused by an electrical discharge can leave traumas such as burns and in extreme cases even lead to death. Besides kites, the company also highlights other important guidelines when it comes to energy during school recesses:

Instruct children to keep their distance from electric grids, not allowing them for instance to climb trees near power lines; Indoors, avoid handling electric devises barefooted and wet, seeing as water is an energy conductor; In closed spaces, avoid leaving exposed extensions and keep all unused outlets covered.

For further information, requests or to denounce possible risks to the grid, or to communicate the interruption of services rendered, EDP instructs customers to contact the following customer service channels:

- EDP Online Websitewww.edponline.com.br

EDP Online App (compatible with Android™, iOS and Windows Phone platforms)

Customer service hotline: 0800 721 0123 (free of charge, 24/7, 7 days a week).

- Physical location (addresses of all units are listed in the website EDP Online)

Data seperated by county in the Alto Tietê region – Kite incidents from January to June 2019