Though utility poles aren’t typically dangerous to those who walk by or live near them, there are situations that arise in which the poles can become a threat. Here are some things to look out for:
Leaning Poles: Although poles are sturdy, they don’t last forever. Insect damage, high winds, old age or inclement weather are all factors that can lead to poles cracking. When this happens, a transformer can come crashing down causing injuries and property damage. Beware of poles that are leaning and report them to your local utility company.
Dangerous Voltage: Power lines have potential to cause injuries if you touch them. Electric shocks can lead to severe internal damage and even death. You don’t have to actually touch a wire to get an electric shock. Tree branches can come in contact with a power line and energize the tree and the ground around it.
Chemical Toxins: Wood utility poles are treated with preservatives to make them last longer and keep bugs away.
Attached Items: Resist the impulse to advertise your yard sale or lost pet on local utility poles. It may not seem like a big deal, but a small nail, tack, staple or screw partially driven into a pole can tear a lineman’s glove and clothing, compromising their safety and making them vulnerable to electrocution.
Not only do the attachments put line crews at risk, but anyone placing items on poles comes dangerously close to energized power lines. A secondary concern is that the moisture and insects that get into holes will prematurely damage the poles and increase maintenance costs. That’s an expense to our member-owners.
Please help us keep our linemen – and the communities they serve – safe by removing any unauthorized items from utility poles.