Inside the home

  • Don’t yank electrical cords from the wall – this can damage both the plug and the outlet.
  • Cover all electrical outlets and wall switches with cover plates. Replace any that are damaged.
  • Use extension cords and “cheater” plugs only on a temporary basis.
  • Don’t plug one extension cord into another.
  • Use a quality surge protector with enough sockets for every component.
  • Keep all electrical devices away from water.
  • If you’re working on the fuse or breaker switch, flag it so no one else touches it.
  • Don’t attach a cord to another surface with nails or staples – it can damage the insulation.
  • Don’t use damaged or brittle electrical cords, even if bare wires aren't visible.
  • Don’t attempt to fix an electrical appliance or tool while the unit is plugged in.
  • Don’t run cords under furniture – it can damage the insulating cover.
  • Don’t assume the black coating on wires is insulation – it could be just plastic weatherproofing that provides no protection from contact injuries.
  • If there's an electrical fire: If possible, unplug the device or shut off the power at the main service panel. Never use water on an electrical fire – use a multipurpose fire extinguisher. When calling 911, be sure to tell the dispatcher it's an electrical fire.

Outside the home

  • Have GFCI outlets and waterproof covers on all outdoor outlets.
  • Look out for overhead power lines every time you use a ladder or pole. Stay at least 10 feet away from any electrical lines.
  • Call a professional for help trimming trees near power lines.
  • Keep children and pets away from utility equipment, including meters and transformers.
  • Don’t let anyone climb trees or fly kites near power lines.
  • Don’t disguise transformers or meters with paint or bushes – a utility worker might need to work safely around it or find it quickly in an emergency.
  • Don’t tamper with an electric meter (it's dangerous and illegal), and keep it free of ice and snow during the winter.
  • Don’t hang signs on utility poles. Nail, staples or tacks can pose a big danger to workers who must climb the poles.
  • Know how to stay safe around our power equipment, substations and work crews.
Stay safe during the storm

Midwestern storms can bring dangerous lighting, ice, high winds - and power outages. Learn how to prepare and stay safe during and after the storm.

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