All News

May is National Electrical Safety Month

Were you aware tree limbs may become a safety hazard when in contact with power lines? Did you know attempting to trim a tree in contact with a power line puts you in danger of electrocution? Have you ever been uncertain about when and where to trim your trees located near power lines? 

The warm weather of spring often arrives with May, which is also recognized as National Electrical Safety Month. As trees begin to grow and bud, they may come in contact with power lines, creating confusion about responsibility and concern about member safety. United Power wants to make sure you know the answers to your questions so you can safely tackle your spring yard work. 

(For quick reference about who’s responsible for maintaining trees near power lines, please read “Who’s Responsible” below.) 

When you encounter a tree in the vicinity of a primary power line, immediately contact United Power. Avoid trimming when you encounter the following: tree limbs in direct contact with a power line, dead tree limbs hanging near power lines, tree limbs growing toward power lines. 

Observe the Ten-Foot Rule to safely trim trees on your property located near power lines. This means anything inside that radius may put you at risk. For your safety, United Power will disconnect secondary lines when notified in advance of any tree trimming activity at no cost to the member. Remember to trim only from a steady, level surface, removing small, easy to manage sections. Large tree/branch sections may fall unexpectedly and risk taking down power lines and causing potential injury. If this is not possible, contact a professional tree trimmer. 

When in doubt about safety or responsibility, please contact United Power at 303-637-1300. We’ll be happy to send out a troubleshooter or one of our tree contractors to assess the situation and keep you safe. 

Who's Responsible

United Power has an aggressive tree trimming program to reduce the number of tree related outages. However, in some cases, the homeowner may be responsible for keeping a line to their home clear of trees. Here is how it works:

  • United Power is responsible for trimming around primary lines. These are lines running from pole to pole. United Power maintains these lines because they are higher voltage and require special handling from a qualified tree trimming crew.
  • Members are responsible for obstructions in secondary lines. These are typically single lines stretching from our pole to a member’s home - often seen in backyards, crossing from the main electric line to the home.