Dangers of cutting limbs near power lines

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

HOXIE, AR (KAIT) - There are hundreds of trees that are broken after January's ice storm and many want to have those limbs removed but as Tuesday's accident shows it can be deadly.

"Don't try to do anything yourself especially if its over power lines or your house," said Bill Killian, co-owner of K & K Construction and Disaster Services.

"They need to hire a professional.  Somebody that's experienced, somebody that is hopefully safety certified," said K & K Construction and Disaster Services Co-Owner Ron Kingston.

If the limbs are too close, the power company can help you out.

"If they're near the power lines they need to have us come out and remove them if there's any danger of them hitting the power lines," said Monty Williams with Craighead Electric.

Experts with say there are few out there who know what they are doing.  That's why its so important to get professional help.

"They might have chaps, gloves, and a vest if needed.  So many people, if they try to do the work themselves they don't have the proper equipment and all our people will," Kingston.

When hiring a professional you also need to make sure the person you hire is reputable.

Somebody that is licensed bonded and insured to protect the homeowner from damage to their home but also to protect themselves," said Kingston.

Everyone, professional and amateur alike, must keep in mind just how dangerous power lines are.

"The electricity up in the lines is about 7,200 volts or 14,000 volts.  All it takes is just one little bump or just getting near it and electricity can arc over there and then its too late.  Electricity is not forgiving," said Williams.

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