Do you know what caused the last power outage at your home? Believe it or not, there’s a good chance an animal is to blame. According to recent national survey data, animals are the number one reason for power outages. Squirrels, gophers and birds often come into contact with or build their homes on power lines, transformers, or other pieces of utility hardware. This can cause surges that trip the power off. Other top causes for outages are weather (lightning, wind, or ice), equipment failure, and trees making contact with power lines. Your public power utility takes careful action to prevent outages by installing squirrel-guards on electricity poles and keeping up with tree trimming. Utility employees also monitor the local electrical system to ensure that when preventative measures fail, crews can be dispatched as soon as possible to restore power to the community.