Spring Safety Tips
MidAmerican Energy is committed to safety and urges customers to use extra caution when undertaking home improvement projects this spring. Here are some important safety tips to always remember.
- CALL BEFORE YOU DIG: Anytime you plan to dig, whether as part of a construction job or homeowner project (such as putting up a fence or basketball hoop, planting trees or shrubs, installing a pool, building a home addition, deck, etc.) please call your state's one-call system at least 48 hours prior to the excavation – it's a free service, and it is the law. In Iowa, call 800-292-8989; in Illinois, 800-892-0123; in South Dakota, 800-781-7474; in Nebraska, 800-331-5666. One Call will contact MidAmerican locators, who will mark MidAmerican-owned underground gas and electric utility locations within 48 hours of your call. Customer-owned wires and piping, including those running to grills, yard lights or outbuildings will not be marked. The services of a plumbing and heating dealer or qualified private contractor should be sought for locating customer-owned gas piping or electric lines.
- LOOK UP BEFORE YOU TRIM YOUR TREES: Spring is a popular time for pruning trees. Never use a metal ladder near overhead wires or allow trimmers to make contact with a power line. If a branch touches a power line, the tree can become energized. For your own safety do not trim any tree branches that are close to power lines. If power lines are near, call MidAmerican at 888-427-5632, and we'll make it safe for you to do your work. Also, be alert if you're on the roof or painting in high places. The electric service line that connects to your house could be closer than you think.
- EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN: Remember to fly kites only in open areas where there are not any power lines, and remind your children, too. Make sure they know to never use metal on a kite, climb a utility pole or enter an electric substation for any reason. Call MidAmerican at 888-427-5632 to retrieve lost balls or toys that accidentally get tossed over a substation fence.
- DON'T TOUCH DOWNED POWER LINES: Wind, rain and lightning can bring down trees and power lines. If you see a fallen power line, assume it is electrified and don't touch it or allow your children to go near it. Call MidAmerican immediately at 800-799-4443.
- TAKE POWER OUTAGE PRECAUTIONS: If you lose power to your home, check your fuses or circuit breakers first. Call MidAmerican at 800-799-4443 to report a power outage. Use caution stepping outside your home during a power outage caused by severe weather. A fallen power line may be just outside your door or may be hidden by brush or debris.
- HELP AVOID FUTURE OUTAGES: Look up before you plant. Tall-growing trees should not be planted under power lines. A tree that is tiny today can grow into a 40-foot tree that could cause power outages during windy weather. Remember the 20/20 rule: Only shrubs and trees up to 20 feet tall at maturity should be planted within 20 feet of either side of a power line. If a tree or shrub will reach up to 20 feet or more at maturity, it should not be planted under a power line or within 20 feet of either side of a power line.