T&TEC urges fireworks users to be extremely careful

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T&TEC urges fireworks users to be extremely careful

If you wish to use fireworks to celebrate the new year, do so safely.

That’s the message from the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC).

In a press release on Thursday, T&TEC said that while fireworks and fire lanterns (aka sky lanterns) may be lovely to look at, they pose a significant danger to personal property and electricity infrastructure.

The utility company said: “The indiscriminate use of such devices can lead to major electricity outages or fires if they get caught in overhead lines or transformers.”

People using them are urged to be extremely careful as they can put themselves and their community at risk.

They should therefore set up and use fireworks/fire lanterns in an open area clear of substations, overhead power lines, transformers, and poles.

T&TEC added: “Always consider that the breeze can blow them in another direction. Also, avoid using fireworks in an area where T&TEC’s emergency/night crews may be present.”

“We also remind the public that if not handled properly, these devices can also cause burns and other physical injuries. Further, we encourage persons to consider the elderly and sick, other persons who may be sensitive to sudden, loud noises, and pets.”

If you have to use fireworks or fire lanterns as part of your celebration, be guided by the following:

* Carefully set up and use fireworks/lanterns in an open area, clear of substations and overhead power lines. Do not string fireworks on utility poles.
* Point fireworks away from homes/buildings. Keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances. Watch out for utility lines that they could strike and result in major outages.
* Do not attempt to retrieve fire lanterns if they get caught in T&TEC’s infrastructure. Contact the Commission urgently at 800 TTEC (8832) or 800 BULB (2852)
* Have consideration for others— babies, the sick and the elderly are sensitive to loud noises. Limit your use of fireworks.
* Think about pets. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed by loud noises. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they may run loose or get injured.