GPL urges: Fly your kites, but keep away from power lines

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After two years of restrictions that placed a damper on national events, the return of the traditional kite flying, associated with Easter celebrations, is already causing system interruptions at the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) network.

As recently as Saturday last, a kite was entangled in the power company’s mains at Prashad Nagar, Georgetown and almost resulted in an entire shutdown of the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).

“We are pleading with our customers, especially since school is out, to ensure that children are always supervised and all kite flying is done in a secure environment that will preserve the network and the lives of all customers,” GPL’s System Operation & Planning Engineer Kempton France told the News Room on Tuesday.

GPL’s System Operation & Planning Engineer Kempton France

He said, already, these incidents at the weekend have begun to put pressure on the company’s response teams.

“People fly kites all over; it’s national and every time a team has to attend to a kite that is entangled with our mains it causes other customers who may have legitimate faults and problems to be out longer,” France added.

He said GPL anticipates a great number of people to be involved in kite flying and as such the company will have teams dispatched and on standby to respond to any emergency that may arise as result of kite flying; people can, however, play a major part in reducing these instances.

“Sometimes it takes hours to restore the power to our customers because the team has to find the fault and then extend man-hours in rectifying the damage caused.”

There are designated areas for kite flying like parks and the seawall and GPL has plans to take off power from these areas to make kite flying safe.

Notwithstanding, France advises that should kites become entangled with the network it can pose a threat not only to the network but to life.

“We would like our customers to understand that as much as possible they should fly their kites in wide open spaces.”

“When kites become entangled with mains it causes damage to the line hardware, can result in fires and burst high voltage mains which can cause electrocution and a trip where customers will be out of power for a long period,” he explained.

Should a kite become entangled, persons are advised to let it go and report it to GPL using the emergency numbers as soon as possible.

“Life is important, let’s be safe as we have fun during the Easter season,” France reiterated.

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