Seemingly harmless, the kites can bring many risks if the joke happens in inadequate places, especially near the electrical grids. Between the months of January and July this year, this kind of fun required that the Neoenergia distributors – Coelba (BA), Celpe (PE), Cosern (RN) and Elektro (SP and MS) - act to restore energy from 1,127 occurrences. The volume represents an increase of 38.9% interruptions, considering all concession areas of the group, in relation to the same period in 2019, when almost 811 downtimes were recorded.
When they reach the grids, kites can damage the wires and can break them or compromise the insulation of some cables. Another problem is the possibility of damaging equipment such as transformers, causing short circuits and triggering systems that interrupt the supply for safety. The danger may increase further according to materials used in the making of kites and rabiolas (homemade kites), which can be metallic and conduct electricity.
"The main orientation is to fly kites away from the electric grid, as in open places, beaches and parks. Thus, situations that can lead to interruptions in the energy supply and harm several people are avoided, in addition to representing an accident risk for people", says Neoenergia´s health and safety manager, Harley Albuquerque.
There were 426 emergency shutdowns in Bahia caused by occurrences with kites from January to July, an increase of 30% compared to the same period last year, when there were 309 occurrences. In July alone, there were almost twice as many cases compared to the same period last year, with 141 occurrences in 2020 and 80 in 2019.
Celpe recorded 197 power outages caused by kites in 2020, while in 2019 there were 65. In June alone, the number of occurrences was six times higher than the same month last year.
Forty-five occurrences were recorded in the first seven months of the year in Rio Grande do Norte, an increase compared to 27 in the same period last year. In just one case, more than 14,600 Cosern customers were left without energy due to the playing with kites in an inappropriate location.
The increase was 12% in Elektro's concession area in São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul, where 459 energy outages caused by kites were recorded from January to July. In 2019 this figure was 410.
If the kite gets tangled in wires or poles, it should not be pulled under any circumstances and materials such as stones and broomsticks should not be thrown to remove it. This can cause cables to break, causing power outages and even fatal electric shocks. Neoenergia's orientation is, in these cases, to contact the energy concessionaire in each state, through the emergency contacts, which are:
WhatsApp: (71) 3370-6350
SMS Power outage: 28116
Customer relationship: 116
WhatsApp: (81) 3217-6990
WhatsApp: (84) 3215 - 6001
Customer relationship: 116
WhatsApp: (19) 2122-1696
Customer relationship: 0800.701.0102
The use of cerol is already prohibited by law in several places, such as in the states of Bahia, Pernambuco, São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul. Nevertheless, its use continues to cause victims. They are also risk factors for electric grids. "By leaving the line sharp, it can cause the cables to break. Even if at the moment it seems that they have not been damaged, over time this can happen and cause power outages or even hit someone, who may be the victim of an electric shock," warns Neoenergia´s health and safety manager.