Colorado Springs Utilities has an ongoing effort to remove tree limbs encroaching on power lines throughout the entire year.
According to Doug Lyons, construction inspector with CSU, it takes three years to trim all the trees in Colorado Springs. He said after this time period, crews are required to start over due to regrowth.
Lyons said weather is to blame for the majority of downed lines.
“Probably the biggest cause of power outages in our area would be wind or an early snow storm where the leaves are still on the trees. You get the weight of the snow and the leaves on the trees that would cause the leaves on the trees that would cause the leaves to come in contact with the high voltage lines could cause a power outage,” said Lyons.
Lyons said it is important for the community to know the dangers surrounding downed power lines.
“Do not touch the wires. Do not approach them in any way,” he said.
Lyons said if residents see a downed power line, they should always treat it as if it were a live wire. He said if this advice is ignored, there is the “possibility you could be shocked and/or electrocuted, hurt, burned and maybe even killed.”
CSU said downed lines should be reported immediately by calling 448-4800.
CSU also wants the community to know they offer a free tree trimming service to residents who spot branches in their yard that are dangerously close to power lines.
“It’s a free service. CSU has a year-round tree contractor and we maintain the proper clearance between the vegetation and the overhead electric lines,” Lyons said.
Lyons said homeowners should not attempt to take on this task by themselves.
“Most homeowners are not experts in high voltage power lines and they could get hurt and/or worse,” he said.
Homeowners concerned about tree branches encroaching on power lines should call CSU. CSU will first send a team to assess the danger. In the event preventative action needs to be taken, another crew will be called out to fix the problem.
“It’s our responsibility to keep those trees back away from those wires for safety and reliable electric service,” said Lyons.