Safety Basics – Electric

There is nothing more important to Florida Public Utilities than keeping our customers, our employees and our communities safe. We are committed to the safety of our utility assets, our team and our customers, and we urge you to learn more about being safe. Here is more information about power line safety, our Tree-Line Maintenance Program and more.

Power Line Safety

Never work – or trim – near power lines:

  • Always stay at least 10 feet away from power lines
  • Always keep ladders, tree-pruners and other tools at least 10 feet from power lines
  • Always look up and note where power lines are before you begin yardwork
  • Make sure to take safety precautions when working around trees
  • Hiring landscapers? Check if they are licensed and insured
  • If you notice a tree or other object interfering with an overhead line, please stay far away and call FPU immediately

Line Clearing is a Job for Professionals

  • Never touch a downed power line; stay as far away as possible
  • Never try to trim or climb trees near power lines
  • Don’t attempt to retrieve items tangled in power lines
  • Instead, please call 800.427.7712 immediately to report an issue, so we can perform or schedule the service necessary. Or, in an emergency, dial 911

Tree-Line Maintenance

Overgrown trees are a top cause of power outages. When you participate in our Tree Line Maintenance Program, we will clear trees around power lines at your property and prevent disruptions to your electric service.

How It works:

  • Maintenance revolves around a consistent and planned trimming cycle
  • On average, FPU clears around overhead distribution lines every 4 years
  • FPU clears around power lines to ensure outage prevention and a safe working environment
  • Trees that grow into the primary lines in such a way that can’t be trimmed according to ANSI A300 standards may be removed to prevent future outages and safety concerns
  • Vegetation that grows above 14′ under power lines may be removed if it grows in such a way that prevents ANSI A300 trimming
  • Vegetation around pad-mounted equipment may be trimmed back 2′ around sides and 12′ around the front(s) to provide access and safe working clearance for maintenance and troubleshooting
  • By patrolling the entire length of a power line (vs. individual locations), we can give our customers better reliability

Tree-Line Maintenance FAQ

When trees brush or fall on power lines, they can cause power outages and other hazards. FPU regularly clears lines of threatening tree growth to enhance the reliability, safety and overall quality of your electric service.

Our Tree-Line Maintenance Program revolves around a consistent, planned trimming cycle. On average, FPU clears around overhead distribution lines every 4 years.

The amount of pruning varies by case. Our professionals will consider your tree’s species, growth rate, health and location before removing only select interior branches. We use directional pruning to protect the health of your tree while training it to grow away from power lines.

FPU is responsible for the primary service wires. We don’t charge you for this tree-line maintenance. Protecting our electrical equipment is our responsibility. If FPU or related personnel request payment, please report it.

We only prune trees endangering power lines and equipment. Non-threatening trees won’t be touched. For additional goals or aesthetics, please contact a qualified contractor after our line-clearing work is complete.

FPU uses directional pruning to direct growth away from power lines with minimal stress to the tree. With this method, only your tree’s interior (and hazardous) branches are removed, often resulting in a V-shape.

Directional pruning enables FPU to protect the health of trees while helping them grow away from power lines. Directional pruning won’t interfere with your tree’s natural defense system. (Such as its ability to seal wounds, or deter pests and decay.) Nor will it affect its stability. You can also feel good knowing that FPU follows American National Standard Institute (ANSI) A-300 tree-trimming standards endorsed by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

FPU will only remove select vegetation that can’t be trimmed or pruned effectively in order to maintain a safe distance from power lines. This may include dying trees, fast-growing vegetation or exotic plants.

Any tree debris resulting from our Tree-Line Maintenance Program will be cleaned up for you, usually 2-3 days after your tree is trimmed or removed.

Never attempt to trim trees near power lines. This is very dangerous and must only be done by qualified professionals. Contrarily, trees that are NOT near power lines should be trimmed regularly. You’ll help deter them from becoming an issue later on.

If you notice a tree touching a power line, stay far away. Instead contact FPU at 800.427.7712, or dial 911 immediately.