Five years of drought conditions have caused many trees to die or become extremely unhealthy. Lack of water has weakened them, making them susceptible to disease and infestations of harmful insects such as bark beetles. These compromised trees are a hazard since they can fall on power lines and homes without warning and cause injuries, property damage, power outages, and wildfires.
To help prevent such incidents, PG&E has increased tree inspections as well as tree pruning and removal. They are asking you to help by inspecting trees on your property.
- Report dead, dying or diseased trees near power lines.
Some signs of a dead, dying, or diseased tree are bare branches, brown leaves or needles, a cracked or leaning trunk and trails of fine sawdust near the tree base indicating an insect attack. If you identify such a tree and it is close to a power line, don’t attempt to remove or prune it. Please stay away and call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- Request a free, temporary service disconnection.
If you notice tension on your service drop (line to home or business), please call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to ask for a free, short term disconnection. This will allow you to prune without the risk of electrical contact.
- Mind the lines: Know what’s overhead.
While primary lines carry the highest voltage, secondary lines and service drops carry enough voltage to cause injury or death. When performing tree pruning or vegetation removal, always look up first and stay clear of all power lines. Learn more about electric safety go to http://www.pge.com/en/safety/electricsafety/index.page.
BE AWARE OF POWER LINE LOCATIONS
Pruning trees next to high voltage power lines is extremely dangerous. Only people who receive special training are permitted to work within 10 feet of lines according to the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA).