Wake Forest, NC— Fall officially begins this month, and the cooler temperatures typically give way to lots of home improvement projects. Some of your projects might be around the yard.

Landscaping is one of the best and most affordable ways to give your home’s exterior a fresh look, but there’s one thing many people don’t consider before they start their landscaping projects – power lines.

Before you grab your gardening gear, familiarize yourself with this list of power line safety tips:

– Do not attempt to trim trees near power lines. Wake Electric has an extensive right-of-way clearing program that ensures trees aren’t too close to power lines, but if you happen to see any that may look too close, call your electric cooperative to send out the experts.

– If you have plans to build a tree house for your kids, be extremely cautious. Steer clear of all power lines to keep yourself and your children out of danger.

– Remember, ladders are conductors of electricity. It’s best to carry a ladder horizontally so that it doesn’t inadvertently touch a power line, and always pay attention to where you set up the ladder.

– Call 811 before you dig, even if it’s just to plant a tree or shrub, to identify where underground utility lines are buried. Digging around lines can cause serious injury or even death, as well as electrical outages. For more information regarding N.C. 811, please visit www.nc811.org.

– The Electrical Safety Foundation International (EFSI) reminds you to “Look up! Look Down! Look Out!” This motto is especially important if your field of work requires you to be in the vicinity of power lines because they kill an average of 133 workers per year.

Remember, electricity looks for the shortest, most direct path to ground. A ladder, pole or even a wet kite string touching a power line will give electricity a new, shorter path to ground. If you are holding those items, you could become a part of that path. Those consequences could be deadly, so please exercise caution when you’re around power lines.

Call Wake Electric if you have any questions or concerns about the power lines near your home.

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