Downed Lines Caused by Trees

How electrocution can result from trees imposing on power lines, especially if utility companies do not adhere to their tree trim schedules that are required by law

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It may seem like a tree falling into a power line and causing a horrific electrocution accident is an unforeseeable, “Act of God” type of event. But that’s rarely the case.

As attorney Jeffrey Feldman explains in the video above, a common cause of downed lines is when tree branches grow too close to the power line and knock it over in a storm. This occurs especially if the infrastructure is not properly inspected and maintained by power companies.

And this is why utility companies are required by the National Electric Safety Code to trim trees and branches in proximity to power lines and in anticipation of forecasted growth in cycles.

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Severe weather aside, it’s important to remember that power lines should be able to withstand the forces of Mother Nature —  if they’re properly inspected and maintained by power companies.

When power companies don’t adhere to these tree trim schedules, then accidents happen. For example, in Jeffrey’s case referenced in the video, a power line fell in a rural area and killed a 5-year-old boy. Jeffrey hired a wood and forestry expert who established that the tree was probably rotted. In other words, had the utility company done its job by inspecting and sticking to its tree trim schedule, the tree wouldn’t have been blown down by a storm and caused an electrocution accident that senselessly took the life of a child.