SKELEC encourages citizens to report overhanging branches for safety precautions

(SKNIS): Residents observing trees or branches dangerously threatening power lines are encouraged to report the matter to the St. Kitts Electricity Company Ltd (SKELEC).

SKELEC’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Gawain Fraites, said September is traditionally an active month for hurricanes and crews are currently traveling around the island, assessing potential danger spots. He added that while the company is not responsible for clearing all trees an assessment can still take place.

“We can’t be cutting down everybody’s trees but we are responsible for trees like maybe 10 feet away from our wires,” Mr. Fraites said. “So we encourage persons to give us a call at 465-2013. Let us know that there is a tree here and what time is best that we can come and see them because it might have to be on a weekend.”

The PRO stated that the main objective is safety and officials prefer to cut a few branches or a tree as a preventative measure rather than having to repair downed power lines or replace poles damaged during a storm.

Other tips shared included avoiding downed power lines even if there is no electricity in the area. “Always assume that the line is live,” Fraites advised, while encouraging persons to call 600 to report electrical-related emergencies. During the passage of a storm, consumers are also encouraged to turn off the main power switch. This step protects consumer from losing appliances from a surge in electricity resulting from lighting strikes.

Mr. Fraites said SKELEC will continue improvement to better serve the public and produce reliable and responsible service.