Skip to main content

MidAmerican Energy News

National Safety Month: MidAmerican Energy offers tips for outdoor electric safety

DES MOINES, Iowa – (June 14, 2016) – June is National Safety Month, a perfect time for MidAmerican Energy Company to remind customers to play it safe around outdoor electricity this summer. Before you fire up the grill, jump in the pool or tackle that home improvement project, review our top five tips for avoiding outdoor electric hazards:

1. Water and electricity don’t mix.
Keep all electrical appliances, equipment and devices at least 10 feet away from water. Don’t use electric equipment when it’s raining or the ground is wet. Avoid using plug-in devices on pool decks or near hot tubs; if an electric appliance does accidentally fall into water, unplug it from the outlet before attempting to retrieve it. All outdoor electric outlets should be protected with a weatherproof cover and ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI.

2. Look up and live.
Always be aware of the location of overhead power lines. Keep ladders and other equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines. Be especially careful when moving equipment; carry ladders, pool skimmers and similar long-handled items in the horizontal position, rather than the vertical position, to avoid accidental contact with overhead lines.

3. Teach safety.
It’s never too early to teach children about the dangers of playing on or near electrical equipment. Remind them to fly kites only in open areas away from power lines. Children should never attempt to climb utility poles or trees with power lines running through them, play on electrical boxes, or enter an electric substation. If a ball, toy or pet ends up on the wrong side of a substation fence, call MidAmerican Energy at 888-427-5632 for help retrieving it.

4. Call before you dig.
At least 48 hours before any digging or excavation project, call 811 to reach your state’s One Call Center so utility representatives can mark the location of underground lines. It’s the law. Digging into an underground line could kill or injure you, and often results in costly repairs and loss of service for you and your neighbors. Avoid these consequences with a simple call to 811; the service is free.

5. Manage your cords.
When bringing electric tools out of storage at the beginning of the season, check the cords and plugs to make sure they aren’t worn or damaged. Always keep the cord behind you when using an electric lawn mower, hedge trimmer, leaf blower or other electric appliance in your yard. Try slinging the cord over your shoulder or looping it in your hand to keep it away from blades or other moving parts. Children and pets can easily trip over power cords, so don’t allow them to be in the area when you are operating electric lawn tools. Use only weather-resistant heavy gauge extension cords labeled for outdoor use. Remember that extension cords are intended for short-term needs, not long-term power solutions.

For more tips on keeping you and your family safe this summer – and all year long – visit and click on the Safety tab on the home page.

MidAmerican Energy Company is an energy provider serving 752,000 electric customers and 733,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via MidAmerican Energy Company's website.