E.P.C. warns illegal tampering of electricity connections

The Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.) has appealed to the public not to tamper with electricity and warned that there are heavy penalties including imprisonment.

EPC Chief Executive Officer, Tologata Tile Tuimaleali’ifano, told the Samoa Observer in an interview that they are are increasing public awareness to warn people of the penalties of electricity tampering

“The stealing of electricity is the same thing as stealing for money or anything else as prison is the result of it all,” he said.

The E.P.C. has come across cases of tampering with the electricity, but Tologata said most times the individuals and families deny knowledge of committing the offence. This is despite the illegal practice being discovered in their houses, which would have made it difficult for others to access and tamper with.

Tologata warned that people run the risk of being electrocuted or starting a fire that could threaten their house, if they tamper with the electricity.

“Surely they will blame it all on the E.P.C, disregarding the possibility that illegal acts of tampering with such may be the cause of it all,” he said. “Awareness for the public needs to be built up as illegal connections are becoming more and more of a norm.”

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The Corporation is also embarking on a programme to trim and cut down trees that are close to power lines, and will need the assistance of the public to advise them of the areas where there is overgrowth of trees that could affect the supply electricity.

The throwing of objects over power lines by children has also been brought to the attention of the E.P.C. 

But Tologata said the practice also affects lines below the Corporation’s low voltage distribution network. 

“But that is happening under our low voltage distribution network,” he said. “There is a difference between low and high voltage, whereas high voltage is the stronger electricity lines that are located at the top of the post.”

Tologata said even if there are objects hanging from these lines, power will not be affected but it is still something that should not be done as it is also under the general law of safety.

“If anyone is known for committing such, they could be charged for breaking the law in court,” he added.

Sports shoes appear to be popular object that people have thrown on power lines, compelling the E.P.C. C.E.O. to say that he is still baffled why they do that. 

“Whether it may be because they don’t want the shoes or they want to display their shoes,” he said.

However, he said general advice is for the general public to refrain from such practices and he appealed to parents to monitor the conduct of their children.

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