While neighbors battle over trimming trees near power lines in Commerce Township, MI, there is a real life threatening danger of being electrocuted when trees come in close proximity to utility structures.


It happens more often than one may think. Neighbors arguing about property boundaries and the appearance of their neighborhood or even backyard, particularly when it comes to trimming trees near power lines. The latest conflict in Michigan is making television headlines in Metro Detroit News.

Two neighbors from Commerce Township in Michigan are debating over the possible tree trimming, as Paul Francis wants to have the trees near the residential power lines taken down. According to Fox 2 News, the neighbor happens to own the property where the trees are located and isn’t fond of the tree trimming idea.

As a safety advocate and having experience with electrocution cases, I see this story beyond the disagreement.  Rather, it’s about the critical safety problem that comes up when trees are within a very short distance of the power line structures. Attorney Jeffrey Feldman, who specializes in electrocution cases,  claims this important debate emerges in many electrocution wrongful death lawsuits that he’s filed including one that was resolved just two years ago, also in the state of Michigan.

What frequently occurs in these cases is that the heaviness of the trees or the foliage turns out to be a lot for the power lines, and when there’s severe weather or snow accumulation, they will likely break. This represents a monstrous electric shock risk to anybody nearby. Individuals who venture in their regularly safe lawns never hope to experience this sort of risk.

This safety issue is constantly made worse when service organizations neglect to assess and keep up their electrical power line structures. This is likely the most compelling and principal reasons why individuals are electrocuted. There’s an obligation on the utility service organizations to examine and securely keep up their equipment. Think: 100-year-old wooden posts that are decaying and can without much of a stretch fall with additional weight and force from severe storms. Shockingly, numerous lawyers who are new to electrical injury and fatal cases neglect to recognize and raise these issues, since they don’t comprehend and have the experience with legal duties and responsibilities of electrical power organizations.

Well-Being and Lives are More Vital than a Tree

Back to the neighbor debate in Metro Detroit. Mr. Frances has the correct belief. He disclosed to Fox 2 that he has grandchildren who play in the yard and he’s worried for their wellbeing, as the “live power lines could snap and fall if there’s a bad storm.”

In the mean time, DTE, which is the Detroit-based electrical organization in charge of the electrical power line, says they’re trying to resolve the issue by following their “national standares for utility tree trimming as part of its efforts to ensure safety.” Meanwhile, the neighbor challenges trimming his trees.

On multiple occasions, there have been articles written about these national tree trimming standards, in an attempt to make the public aware and emphasize the importance and obligation that utility companies have to safely keep up and examine their structures to avoid downed lines when awful weather unavoidably happens.

Mr. Francis has a legitimate reason to be worried about the live power lines falling in a terrible Michigan winter storm.


Are Utility Companies Responsible for Trimming Trees Close To Power Lines?

Yes, they are! Electrical power companies are required by the National Electric Safety Code to trim trees and branches in proximity to power lines and in expectation of anticipated development in cycles.

Pertinent laws and safety codes require that power organizations not just repair the conditions on their power lines that they know to be damaged or hazardous, additionally that they utilize sensible means and examination schedules to identify deficiencies in their systems.


Trimming and disposing of trees is another approach to find deficiencies and risky conditions, and additionally to diminish the danger of brought down wires created by contact with tree limbs or the branches breaking off as a result of inclement weather.


The uplifting news is that many states are beginning to take precautions more seriously. For instance, DTE Energy and other service organizations adopting a proactive strategy to trimming and removing down trees trying to diminish blackouts in Michigan. Be that as it may, this tree cutting likewise has the advantage of keeping tree limbs from becoming excessively close to electrical lines and making them fall. Once more, it’s these brought down wires that cause numerous electric shock mishaps consistently in the United States.


It’s imperative for the general population to comprehend that while the aesthetic or the tree itself may need to endure in the investigation and looked after process, tree trimming spares human lives that could in one way or another be lost in preventable electrocution accidents.


In this situation, Mr. Frances’ grandchildren are unmistakably more significant than his neighbor’s trees.