Seven Safety Tips for Working in the Yard

October 05, 2018

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PORTLAND, Ore. – The air is turning crisp and leaves are falling from the trees: fall has arrived in the Pacific Northwest. For some homeowners, this means cleaning the gutters or weatherproofing windows, for others it means taming overgrown gardens or trimming trees. Outdoor projects like these can be dangerous if you don’t put safety first.

“Now is a great time to prune any trees that could cause trouble once the storms start coming in,” said Steve Harkin, Pacific Power safety director. “Check around your property if any trees or branches could harm power lines if they fall. Some preventive work now could save more headaches later.”

Use caution when pruning 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.

Here are seven simple tips to stay safe this fall:

  • Treat all electric lines with caution.
  • Use only wooden and fiberglass ladders. Metal ladders conduct electricity.
  • Never use electrical equipment or tools near a pool or other wet areas. Make sure outlets are equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter, designed to automatically prevent electric shock 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.
  • Plant trees and shrubs away from meters, switching cabinets and boxed transformers. Vegetation blocking electrical equipment makes meter reading, repairs and maintenance challenging and sometimes dangerous for utility workers.
  • 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 pacificpower.net/safety.