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Electric Safety Tips

Electricity is a safe, convenient form of energy we use to prepare our meals, heat and cool our homes, keep our homes neat and clean, and for lighting security and entertainment.  Electricity helps make living and working easy and safe, every day.

But, electricity is also very powerful and can be dangerous if used improperly. It can cause fires, shocks, injuries, and even death.  If you come into contact with an electrical current, there is no warning, and there is no time to react.


 Respect the Power

  • Stay away from downed lines and call CU immediately at 863-9000 – even if you are not sure if it is an electric, telephone or cable line.
  • Respect any electric emergency scene and treat it as any other emergency scene. Please keep your distance and let the crew work without disturbing them.
  • Stay away from electric substations and construction sites.
  • If your vehicle is involved in an accident and is touching a power line, stay inside and wait for help. If a fire or other danger occurs, jump out without touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time.  Shuffle away with very small steps.  Do not help others out of the vehicle—you could be shocked.



  • Keep any electric device away from sinks, tubs or showers.
  • Do not overload circuits and minimize the use of extension cords.
  • Never place combustibles such as paper, drapes or furniture near space heaters, stoves, toasters or other heat producing appliances.
  • Do not let small children play with cords or wall outlets. Install plastic outlet covers to avoid potential danger.


Generator Safety

  • Portable Generators must be operated outdoors in a well-ventilated area to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Stay away from your home’s electrical panel or fuse box. Generators should not be wired into them, unless serviced by a qualified, licensed electrician.
  • Always observe the generator manufacturer’s instructions to avoid electrocution and for safe operation. Improper operation can be hazardous both to you and to utility workers, as generators may cause carbon monoxide poisoning and/or generators may leak power back to CU’s lines and pose an electrical risk.
  • If your generator has been directly wired into your home without a safety cutoff switch, City Utilities will not complete the restoration of power to your home, as this poses an electrocution hazard. A qualified, licensed electrician must remove the generator’s direct wiring before City Utilities will complete the power restoration.



  • Fly kites in a wide-open field or park – never near electrical wires or on a stormy day. Never attempt to remove a kite from electric power lines.
  • Do not play on or dig around transformers.
  • Be aware of electric lines at all times, especially when moving ladders, cleaning gutters, working on the roof, or trimming trees. Never climb electric poles or towers.
  • Only use extension cords rated for outdoor use for outdoor projects.
  • 811 – Call Before You Dig. Be sure to use this free service to mark your utilities before attempting any digging project.
  • Plant the right tree in the right place. Be aware of electric lines before planting trees. Check the size of the mature tree before planting under or around electric lines. For more information, call City Utilities at (417) 863-9000.