Stay safe while working in the yard

SALT LAKE CITY — As the leaves turn, fall weather arrives in the Mountain West. For some homeowners, this means pruning trees and taming overgrown gardens, for others it means cleaning the gutters or painting the house. Many outdoor projects like these can be hazardous if you don’t put safety first.

“This is the time of year when many are completing their fall cleanup and preparing their homes for winter.  Always use caution when pruning trees by keeping yourself and anything you’re handling at least 10 feet away from all overhead power lines,” said Jeremy Gee, Rocky Mountain Power’s health and safety managing director.

“Check around your property and look for trees or branches that could harm power lines if they fell.  Winter storms bringing down branches is a big cause of power outages.  Never try to remove a branch that is near, tangled or lying across a power line. Instead, call us at 1-888-221-7070. We'll be happy to send out an arborist to inspect your property and consult with you on how to safely solve the problem.”

  • Treat all electric lines with caution.
  • Use only wooden and fiberglass ladders. Metal ladders conduct electricity.
  • Never use electrical equipment or tools near a pool or other wet areas. Additionally, make sure outlets are equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter, designed to automatically disconnect if the tool comes into contact with water.
  • Be aware and steer clear of overhead electrical wires when installing, removing, cleaning or repairing gutters.
  • Have help when installing or adjusting a satellite dish or antenna. Make sure you’re working at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Plant trees and shrubs away from meters, switching cabinets and boxed transformers. Vegetation blocking electrical equipment makes repairs and maintenance challenging and sometimes dangerous for utility workers.
  • Underground power lines are just as dangerous as overhead ones. If your project involves digging, make sure the locations of underground power lines are marked. Call 811 to have underground utilities located and marked for free.

For more safety tips or to order free Rocky Mountain Power safety materials, call toll free at 800-375-7085 or visit