Fall yard maintenance can protect people and homes from winter storm damage

PARK CITY, Utah – With storms on the horizon, and winter just around the corner, some homeowners may be scrambling to finish yearly maintenance, like trimming trees, taming overgrown gardens, and cleaning gutters. Prioritizing outdoor safety during this time could mean protecting yourself and preventing dangerous issues in the future.

“Now is a great time to prune any trees that could cause trouble once the storms start coming in,” said Jeremy Gee, Rocky Mountain Power’s health and safety managing director. “Winter storms bringing down branches is a big cause of power outages. Check around your property if any trees or branches could harm power lines if they fell. Some preventive work now could save more headaches and power outages later.”

Here are some tips and guidelines when working in the yard to help you stay safe this fall:

  • Use caution when pruning trees.
  • Don’t use pruning tools or ladders near power lines.
  • Always keep yourself and anything you’re handling at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Never try to remove a tangled branch or one lying across a power line. Instead, call Rocky Mountain Power at 1-888-221-7070.
  • 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, ensure 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. Ensure 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 tips on how to stay safe in the yard this fall, call Rocky Mountain Power toll-free at 800-375-7085 or visit

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