Winter storms are either light and calming or come with high winds and destruction. Homeowners living in storm-prone areas need to prepare for possible tree damage. When the storm has wind speeds over 50 MPH, it will rip limbs off your trees.
It’s not just your home you need to worry about when tree limbs fall. The biggest concern during a strong storm is a tree on a power line or transformer.
Downed power lines pose serious health hazards. A fallen power line can also spark a fire. This guide will tell you what to do with a tree on a power line.
Do Not Approach the Tree on the Power Line
Power lines carry varying amounts of voltage, depending on what buildings they supply. Never assume the downed power line in your neighborhood is low-voltage. Treat all downed power lines with extreme caution.
Make sure all animals and children remain indoors. If the ground is wet, you should also stay inside. Water conducts electricity far beyond its normal reach.
In dry weather, stay at least 35 feet away from the tree on a power line. Don’t try to touch any cars or tree limbs near the downed power line.
Contact Emergency Services to Report a Downed Power Line
After you’re sure your kids and pets are safe from the power line, call 9-1-1. Take a few calming breaths while the call rings through. This way, you’ll have a clear head when relaying information to the dispatcher.
Tell the dispatcher:
- There is a down power line
- Your address or the address of the home nearest the downed line
- Your name
- Anything that might stop emergency crews from reaching the site
- Any injuries and their locations
The dispatcher may have other questions for you. Answer them to the best of your ability without putting yourself in danger.
Cleaning up After You Report a Power Line Damage
Your local power company and emergency services will handle the power line. In some areas, they may even take care of cleaning up after. If you happen to live in one of those cities, your cleanup is minimal.
What happens when you’re the one responsible for clearing away the debris? Homeowners often have no clue what to do when faced with a fallen tree.
Call in a tree removal service to handle the cleanup process. They’ve got specialized equipment that makes quick work of the damaged tree.
While the tree service is around, have them check the other trees for damage. Ask the team to cut back any branches too close to the power lines. Cutting the branches back now will lower the chance of another tree on a power line incident.
Always Report a Fallen Tree on a Power Line
We rely on electricity every day but shouldn’t take for granted how dangerous it can be. Even a mild shock from a household appliance is enough to stop your heart.
When accidents happen, your gut instinct is to go and help. In the case of a tree on a power line, the help has to come from trained professionals. It’s the only way to ensure everyone survives unharmed.
Searching for other ways to protect your house and loved ones? Visit our blog. We offer advice on everything from flood insurance to installing a new fence.