Arbor Day is Friday, April 29th – Plant Safely

With spring around the corner and Arbor Day just a week from now, tree planting season will be here soon. Safe Electricity and Arrowhead Electric Cooperative want to remind everyone to be aware of electrical hazards while planting this year. Always seek help from professionals when choosing and placing trees and bushes.

Trees that grow too close to electric lines can create shock and fire hazards as well as power outages. More importantly, children can become victims of electric shock when they climb trees that have grown too close to the power lines as well. Trees growing into power lines can also create electrical hazards for people who might be trimming branches, hanging lights or otherwise working around them.

Take the time to research tree selections by consulting your local arborist or tree nursery. These experts can provide assistance to designing a beautiful yard with trees appropriate for each area of the landscape. With their help, trees can provide economical cooling in the summer, and a wind-break for harsh winter winds.

Choosing the right tree for the right place is crucial, especially when it comes to power lines. Trees and woods in general can potentially conduct electricity and can create a safety hazard if grown close to electric lines. Power outages or momentary interruptions can occur when branches come into contact with overhead lines. Electrical arcing and sparking from a wire to a nearby branch can also cause fires – and they have previously in Cook County.

If you have trees that appear to be growing into power lines, contact Arrowhead Electric at 663-7239, 1-800-864-3744 or at georged@aecimn.com. Never try to prune them yourself. AECI can recommend skilled professionals trained to safely prune and trim trees for electric line clearance.

To avoid future electrical hazards, safe planting tips to remember include:

  • Consider a mature height of trees.
  • Do not plant near underground utility services.
  • Keep areas around electric meters, transformers or other electrical equipment free of any vegetation that could limit utility service access.
  • Before digging, call 811 to make the location of underground utilities so that accidental contact, damage and injuries can be avoided.

Lastly, if you’re not already using Arrowhead Electric Cooperative’s online bill pay service we encourage you to do so.  Not only does it reduce the amount of paper used, it saves all of us money!  To sign-up today, visit www.aecimn.com.

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