Preparing your yard for winter

October 15, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. — As the leaves turn, winter weather preparation begins. For some homeowners, this means trimming trees and taming overgrown gardens, for others it means cleaning the gutters or painting the house. Many outdoor projects like these can be hazardous if you don’t put safety first.

"People often assume they know enough about electricity to keep themselves safe. However, accidents happen all of the time,” said Steve Harkin, Pacific Power safety director. “Being alert and aware can keep you, your family and your home out of danger.”

Coming into contact with electricity, whether it is through a power line, power equipment or even an extension cord, can result in serious injury or death. Put safety on your fall clean-up list by following these tips to keep you and your family out of harm’s way:

  • Treat all electric lines with caution. Even low-voltage lines and extension cords can be dangerous.
  • Use only wooden and fiberglass ladders. Metal ladders conduct electricity.
  • Inspect electric cords for fraying or broken plugs. Do not use cords or tools that are damaged.
  • Never use electrical equipment or tools near a pool or other wet areas. Additionally, make sure outlets are equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter, designed to automatically disconnect if the tool comes into contact with water.
  • Be aware and steer clear of overhead electrical wires when installing, removing, cleaning or repairing gutters.
  • Have help when installing or adjusting a satellite dish or antenna. Make sure you’re working at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Use caution when trimming trees. If power lines run through or near the tree, do not attempt to trim it. Instead, call Pacific Power toll free at 888-221-7070.
  • Underground power lines are just as dangerous as overhead ones. If your project involves digging, make sure the locations of underground power lines are marked. Call 811 to have underground utilities located and marked for free.

For more safety tips or to order free Pacific Power safety materials, call toll free at 800-375-7085 or visit