BC Hydro still warning residents about trimming trees near power lines

By Spencer Sterritt
June 11, 2018 - 5:30pm

Too many people are taking it upon themselves to trim trees which are close to power lines. BC Hydro says everyone should call them first or hire a trained arbourist (pictured here).BC Hydro

NANAIMO — Despite numerous warnings, BC Hydro says people aren't giving electricity the respect it deserves.

Ted Olenyk with BC Hydro told NanaimoNewsNOW they too often find just sawdust when they go to retrieve a tree which downed a power line.

“People have taken it upon themselves to take the tree off the line and look at this as an opportunity for free fire wood,” he said. “You can thank God you've got the opportunity for free fire wood but you don't have to take the chance to do it in person.”

Olenyk said it's indicative of a larger issue of people not staying safe around power lines.

Though power is now often routed to a house underground, he said there were still more than 400 incidents of people trimming the branches in their yard too close to power lines. According to a recent study just published by BC Hydro, it's a roughly 60 per cent increase in residents putting themselves at risk of a shock.

“It's not worth the risk,” he said before explaining the numerous ways people trimming trees can get shocked, including touching the line, touching a wet branch which is touching a line, or electricity arcing from the power line to a ladder, as well as many others.

“What we're asking residents to do is treat the electricity lines around them with respect.”

BC Hydro says people need to stay three metres away from all power lines and 10 metres away from downed power lines. If they have questions or concerns about their trees getting too close to power lines, Olenyk said they can always call or pay a trained arbourist.


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