When you move into a new home, you may wonder how it will fare in a hurricane. Are you more or less likely to lose power in your new location? You might be surprised to learn that your own actions can have a very real impact on the likelihood of a power outage in your area. The simple act of trimming trees ten feet away from power lines vastly reduces the number of outages experienced year-round, especially during a hurricane.
While strong winds may cause some power outages, trees falling on power lines cause the largest number of power outages in Bermuda. Even in years where we are not directly hit by a hurricane, trees result in power outages affecting thousands of customers. In 2018, trees were the cause of 32 non-hurricane related power outages that resulted in 3,407 customers losing power for a combined time of 78 hours.
The good news is that many of these outages are preventable.
Armed with this knowledge, BELCO works to ensure trees are cut back near main line circuits and some branch lines. This proactive approach has prevented outages on main line circuits since the programme launched in 2011.
On private property the responsibility for keeping trees trimmed and cut back from power lines lies with property owners. If a property owner is unsure of whether a particular tree is their responsibility, they should call BELCO at 299-2800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification.
Of course, before trimming the trees next to a power line, the power line in question must be disconnected for safety reasons. BELCO and the customer will choose a date and start time, usually three weeks from the date of request. It is crucial, therefore, not to leave your tree trimming to the last minute. Hurricane season is already underway so now is the time to make sure that your trees are clear of any power lines.
Please visit www.belco.bm for more information about hurricane safety.