Blog: My Little Farm in Town

Another Safety Tip: When Trimming Trees, Stay Away From Power Lines!

Friday, June 04, 2010

“Was there a shower of sparks?”


“Did it scare ya?”

“My wife was scared—I just felt stupid.”

This was the conversation my husband had with a village utility worker early this morning.

After a windy night, I discovered a broken branch on the sugar maple on the south east corner of our patio. I mentioned it to my husband, and he said he’d get to it. I had almost decided to grab the saw and take care of it myself because of what a busy time he’s  been having  in our home business, only to see him out with the pole saw trimming the tree.

Once he took down the broken branch, we started noticing others that now had to go. One of these branches was partially draped over the wire that brings electricity to the house. We both thought it would slide harmlessly down once the bottom was cut. Of course, it didn’t!

I wanted to put a rope on it and pull it aside as he finished the cut. My hubby wanted to use the lopper attachment on the pole saw to cut away the end of the branch draped on the wire. Of course, we didn’t have a ladder handy, so he climbed up one of the plastic web patio chairs. I commented that he was awfully close to the power line. He replied, “This pole saw has a fiberglass handle, it’ll be fine!” Teetering on the outer metal edges of the chair, he extended the saw, the picture of the hapless homeowner doing something dumb and dangerous. (We’ve all been in this type of situation at some time in our home owning careers—if we are honest enough to admit it!)

The first cut went well. It still wasn’t enough to raise the branch above the wire though. By this point, I was just keeping my mouth shut. (He was going to do what he pleased no matter what I said.)

The second cut was another story! I couldn’t see the placement of the lopper, so I passed under the branch and wire to get a better view. I had just cleared them both when—that’s right— a SHOWER OF SPARKS started falling all around me. I’m sorry to say that a few choice phrases burst out of me in my fear and anxiety.

The insulation on the power wire was nicked, but no one was hurt. We were more fortunate than we deserved. The moral of the story is. . . whether your equipment conducts current or not,  don’t get it or yourself anywhere near live power lines! Begonia


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