FirstEnergy reminding community that posting signs on utility poles is illegal

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Another place where signs illegally get posted is on right-of-ways, which causes trouble for the Ohio Department of Transportation

(WKBN) – Political signs are popping up everywhere: in yards and on houses and trees. But, there are places political signs don’t belong. Two local agencies have a reminder for you about why they don’t want you hanging or posting signs on their property.

Political signs are just one way to show support for the candidate you’re voting for, but one place you shouldn’t be posting them is on utility poles.

“Many of our customers don’t realize that’s illegal and it could pose a danger to our line workers when they are restoring power or performing some of our routine maintenance,” said Lauren Siburkis, with FirstEnergy.

FirstEnergy has seen more issues with this in recent months. They’ve gotten dozens of calls in the last few weeks about flags and signs hanging on their wooden poles.

“The nails and staples used to attach those signs and flags to our poles can snag a line, workers’ personal protective equipment — particularly their rubber gloves used to insulate them from high voltage equipment — as well as some of the shoes that they’re wearing to protect them from those high voltages,” Siburkis said.

Going pole to pole taking signs down in case work needs to be done on utility poles or lines takes time and manpower, which takes away from their everyday work improving service. But, if you do see one or have hung one yourself, don’t try to remove it.

“If someone’s watching this and they’ve already hung up a sign or flag on their utility pole and they want it removed, they can give us a call and we will send a crew out to safely remove it from that pole,” Siburkis said.

Another place where signs illegally get posted is on right-of-ways, which causes trouble for the Ohio Department of Transportation.

“If we notice a sign that is a sight issue or causes an issue with mowing, we will remove it. We will take it to our local garage and hold it for about 30 days. If they don’t, we end up just recycling or throwing them away,” said Ray Marsch, a public information officer for ODOT.

Aside from it being illegal and a danger for workers, road crews and utility workers, it can cost you money.

“When our folks are out there mowing, they have to take time to move these signs and that just costs more taxpayer dollars for our folks to take away from their everyday jobs to take away these signs that are being placed near our roadways,” Marsch said.

On utility poles, it’s not just political signs — lost pets, garage sales, for-hire signs are all not allowed to be posted.

To request a sign to be removed, give FirstEnergy a call at 1-800-633-4766.

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