E.P.C. chief calls for safety first with Christmas Lights

The Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.) has appealed to Government Ministries and organisations responsible for the Christmas lights in town to properly insulate exposed wires and multi-socket plugs.

The E.P.C. General Manager, Faumui Tauiliili Toimoana, made the appeal following the publication of concerns by a father of the wiring that officials did to set up Christmas lights as part of the Government’s Festival of Lights.

He said he has instructed his staff to check the wiring and notify the responsible ministries and organisations to take into account public safety. 

"The safety of the general public should be the priority and especially where electric lines are exposed especially when it rains and could put the lives of the people in danger," he said.

"I've already told our staff to go about and inspect and then notify the relevant ministries who are responsible for the lights in the different areas in town."

Faumui said it appears the Christmas lights were set up at short notice hence the lack of attention to detail to ensure public safety wasn’t compromised. 

"I think because the timing wasn’t right and enough which caused all that rush but could have done is to use electrical conduit to safeguard the extension wire and multi-socket plugs for the safety of the people," he said.

The Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) Chief Executive Officer, Galumalemana Taatialeoitiiti Tutuvanu-Schwalger, also told the Samoa Observer in an email response that they have taken on board the concerns expressed by the worried father.

"We appreciate and take note of the concerns raised by the public. The setup of the lights on the Vaisigano Bridge, like all the other setups around the country for our Ua O’o Mai le Malamalama Festival is temporary," added Galumalemana.

"Nevertheless, safety is paramount to the L.T.A. and the Q.H.F. Lighting (the contractor providing the services to install and operate the lights at Vaisigano Bridge).

"The lights were installed under the supervision of a licensed electrician who was on-site during the installation and testing phases and on the night of the launch of the Festival of Lights on Friday 11th December 2020."

Galumalemana said that they have taken into consideration concerns raised by the public over the weekend and they have further improved the safety measures in place. 

Most of the L.T.A. lights set up on the bridge were found to be damaged after the weekend and Galumalemana has asked the public to refrain from damaging the lights, while also acknowledging the village of Matautu for looking after their assets.

"More importantly, we respectfully ask the members of the public to not damage our public assets including the lights," she said.

"Over the weekend, we have found that the majority of our lights that have been set up have been damaged which require full replacement of lights.

"We thank the support of the villages of Matautu and Apia in ensuring the security of our public assets as well as the lights so that our people can continue to enjoy the lights on the Vaisigano Bridge and all around Apia."

Taupati Mamea posted pictures of extension cords and multi-socket plugs, which were not properly insulated to stop exposure to rain, on Facebook last Friday night after the launching of the Festival of Lights.

He expressed concern that members of the public including his children could get electrocuted when they went to see the lights outside the Government Building as well as the Vaisigano Bridge.

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