The sun is finally on its way, which means you will be venturing out into your yard looking around at the pretty flowers in bloom, the long lush green grass and the weeds popping up all over the place. You will gaze up into the sky and may notice the first potential hazard in your yard. You see that your front hedge, or more commonly those fast-growing deciduous trees like the Alder, Maple, Willow, Poplar have grown since last year and are now moving in around your service wires. A deciduous sapling can grow 2-10 feet in one year!!
Your service wires are the wires going to your house from the power pole. These wires include the telephone, cable, internet and your house voltage power lines. They are 100% your responsibility to maintain.
If neglected, trees can grow into the wires and rub on the weather stripping causing shorting, arcing and loss of power. This can cause damage to household appliances, fire and even electrocution and death.
In a recent study by BC Hydro, 41% of people were unaware that the maintenance of these wires was their responsibility, as homeowners. BC Hydro will maintain the primary high voltage lines on the street but not the ones going to your house. If any damage occurs to the wires, or the pole it is at the homeowners sole expense.
This brings us to the next hazard…dead or decaying trees near the service/utility wires. Most homeowners are on the look-out for dead trees near their home or structures on their property. It is also crucial to look for trees that may come in contact with the service/utility wires. Let’s say a tree falls on your service/utility wires and takes down the power pole and mast on your house, which is common damage of a tree of any significant size. You are probably looking between $2-5,000 for repair costs, depending on any additional damage.
The obvious hazards remain, including dead or decaying trees near your home or populated areas, newly dead branches after the winter, broken branches hanging in precarious places, and trees that may be leaning more than in previous years (especially towards a house or structure).
So how do you remedy these hazards? If any vegetation is within 10 feet or 3 meters of the main power line (which is mostly grouped with the service wires going to your house) then it is required that you have a Certified Utility Arborist perform the work to prune the branches or remove the tree. A Certified Utility Arborist is a tree care specialist that is specially trained and permitted to work within proximity of high voltage power lines.
If you have any questions about a potential tree hazard on your property, give Forty Oaks a call, we can come out immediately and perform a free site assessment.
Try and find the service wire in this photo….it’s there, we swear!!!