Power lines downed by tree branches

March 11, 2016

Today is the perfect time to remind homeowners that tree branches, which span electrical power lines, can cause serious problems. While a beautifully treed yard may have wonderful curb appeal, trees that are not properly maintained may eventually cause problems during a storm. Over hanging branches can snap from the stress of ice, snow or high winds. From a homeowner’s perspective, this is when a simple power outage can become a potentially dangerous and very expensive electrical repair.

Last night’s fierce wind storm resulted in hundreds of Lower Mainland power outages. Fallen trees took down both power lines and service lines. As the storm continues into today, more outages are being reported throughout the day. Electrical crews scramble to repair one problem after another. Some homeowners will likely be waiting days before power lines are restored. This is more than just an inconvenience to many homeowners. Cold food storages are compromised as fridges and freezers are unable to maintain the required temperature. Idle well pumps means there is no drinking water for humans or animals. Idle sump and sewer pumps brings a whole different set of unpleasant problems.

It is every homeowner’s responsibility to keep trees on their property trimmed away from service wires. We recommend an annual yard assessment of all trees that pose a risk. Often tree pruning may be done by the homeowner. When the next wind storm arrives, you will be glad you took the time to do this on a nice sunny day. For safety reasons, remember to keep yourself, your equipment and all parts of the tree at least 3 meters away from power lines. If this is not possible, hire a professional Certified Arborist who is qualified to work near energized power lines. Your personal safety is well worth the investment.

If the trees are on public property, call BC Hydro to inform them of the potential problem to power lines so this can be dealt with before the next wind storm arrives.

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