Light & Power: Safety Information
Tree Trimming The City of Forest Grove Light and Power Department realizes that trees are a valuable asset to our community and add to our quality of life. However, when a tree is growing in close proximity to an overhead power line, it can pose a threat to electric service and a hazard to public safety. When this occurs the tree must be trimmed or removed.
The City of Forest Grove Light and Power strives to trim trees in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing to the public while maintaining the integrity of the power line, and providing for the safety of the public. This is achieved by a directional method of tree trimming that allows for the trees to grow naturally yet provides for the clearances from the electric lines. Directional trimming is recommended by the International Society of Arboriculture, the American National Standards Institute and the National Arbor Day Foundation. Directional trimming includes V-shaped trimming of trees around power lines and the cutting of tree limbs where they would naturally shed. This type of trimming can better protect trees from attacks of diseases and insects.
Directional trimming is the preferred method of trimming trees. However, on the occasion when a tree presents a hazard to the public or to the integrity of the electrical system, it may be necessary to remove limbs back to the trunk of the tree. In some cases when a tree is growing under the power line it may be necessary to completely remove the tree.
The Light and Power Department has established a three-year cycle to trim all of the trees in our service area. Emphasis is put on trimming and maintaining the clearance around the high voltage lines. Individual service lines to the homes will be trimmed as time allows. An effort will be made to notify homeowners when tree trimming work is being performed in their area, especially if the work requires working in the homeowner's yard.
The City has a tree replacement program that assists our customers in removing trees that present a hazard to the electric lines and replace it with a species that is less likely to present future hazards.
Tree trimming in the City of Forest Grove Light and Power service area is performed by a qualified Line Clearance Tree Trimmer or by a qualified Journeyman Lineman. Federal and State Regulations require that any person working close to an energized power line must be specially trained and qualified to perform this type of work. In most cases an arborist or tree trimmer is not qualified to do this type of work.
For several years The City of Forest Grove Light and Power Department has been recognized for its tree trimming practices by the National Arbor Day Foundation as an electric utility and has been awarded the destination of being a “Tree Line U.S.A.” electric utility.
Work and Recreation around Power Lines Tree limbs can conduct electricity. They contain water. Electricity can pass through a branch touching a line, shocking the victim sufficient to cause injury or a fall from the tree.
Kites and power lines do not mix. Warn children to never climb poles or into trees near wires to remove a tangled kite.
If a wire falls on your car, stay inside your car. You are safe as long as you remain inside. If you attempt to get out and one foot touches the ground and the other is in the electrified car, you complete the circuit to ground. You can be electrocuted!
Beware of anything metal around wires. Electricity can “leap” to a metal conductor such as a ladder if brought close to an energized wire, so always keep yourself and metal objects at least 10 feet away from power lines.
Safety Education The Light and Power Department provides safety education using a model “Electric City” to demonstrate the hazards found around electric wires. This is a portable unit that can be brought to a classroom or group meeting. In addition, an interactive CD-ROM called Power Bandit that teaches about conserving energy and electrical hazards is available while supplies last. Call 503.992.3252 for more information.
Call Before You Dig Do not dig underground until all utilities have been located. Call the Oregon Utility Notification Center at 1.800.332.2344 to arrange all utility locates. Allow 48 business hours for locates to be completed. More information can be found at http://www.digsafelyoregon.com/