Barry Electric: Leave the tree trimming to experts

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Recent storms and spring growth have left a lot of trees in need of attention.

Barry Electric Cooperative wants its members to know that tree trimming is a job best left to experts, especially when they are located near power lines. In fact, the two leading causes of death while trimming trees come from falling and electrocution.

If a trimmer is not careful, a tree or large limb could be dropped into a power line, causing the lime to become energized. At the very least, this will likely cause an outage, and trimmer may be liable for the damages.

Primary power lines are not insulated and pose a serious risk to anyone coming near them. That’s why Barry Electric asks members to follow the 10-foot rule, which means to stay at least 10 feet away from power lines while working.

Keep in mind that equipment used for tree trimming may extend into power lines when least expected. So, too, can ladders used to climb trees. Wind is a factor as well. A limb that appears out of reach of power lines may contact them when hit by a strong gust.

Barry Electric advises members to contact the Cooperative if they see trees or branches that could contact lines. Do not attempt to remove them. Barry Electric has the proper equipment and training to do the job safely.

Whenever trimming trees or doing other yard work, remember these tips:

• Wear safety glasses to protect eyes from sawdust, pine needles and other debris.

• When operating a trimmer or chainsaw, use ear protection, shoes with slip-resistant soles, chaps and gauntlets.

• If using a ladder, tie it off to a secure location. Never go anywhere near a power line with a ladder, especially a metal one.

• Be aware of anyone on the ground. It’s best to have a spotter watch for people who might wander into a worksite.