Vermillion Light & Power urges safe tree trimming

Vermillion Light & Power urges safe tree trimming Sprawling tree limbs look beautiful when in bloom, but what's hiding between those branches? If it's an electric line, call Vermillion Light & Power and have that tree trimmed.

When your tree touches an overhead electric wire, four things can happen:

1. Children climbing that tree can get shocked or killed; 2. the branch can break from the weight of the snow or ice and fall on the wire, causing a power outage; 3. the wind can whip the limb into the line and break one or both; or 4. a branch can merely brush against an energized wire and catch on fire.

Vermillion Light & Power employs workers who are trained to trim trees so their limbs are a safe distance from overhead power lines. Even if the tree looks beautiful when it's as high as the wires, it can cause a hazard for you and your neighbors and is likely to leave you without power.

Vermillion Light & Power urges homeowners to leave the trimming to professionals when branches are within 10 feet of a power line. Professionals are trained to know which direction the pieces will fall � unlike the homeowner whose cut might land a branch on top of a live wire.

Safety tips from your hometown utility:

* If you are planning to plant a tree, ask your nursery how tall the baby tree will grow once it's mature. If it is expected to reach within 10 feet of the power lines, plant it somewhere else.

* Find out how sprawling the tree's branches will be at maturity. A tree planted 10 feet away from an electric line might eventually interfere with the wire.

* When trimming trees and shrubbery on your own, look up. Be careful not to let ladders or trimmers touch overhead lines.

* Don't plant anything within three feet of your electric meter. Your meter should be accessible to meter readers.

* If your electric lines are underground, call South Dakota One Call at 800-781-7474 before you dig.

Vermillion Light & Power crews are currently trimming trees throughout Vermillion.

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