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Electrical Safety

Safety...On the Farm

In our primarily rural service territory, it is so important to remember safety on the farm. One rule to remember is if equipment gets hung up on a power line, the operator should NOT get off the machinery unless in immediate danger. If the operator touches the ground and the equipment at the same time, he or she will become a channel for electricity.

Remember JUMP CLEAR if you must leave the equipment, jump as far away from the machinery as possible. Never get back on the machinery that touches a power line until our service personnel disconnects the line.

See additional safety information by following the links below:


Safety...Around Power Lines

Coming into contact with a power line is not only dangerous, but also potentially deadly in some cases. Your Touchstone Energy cooperative wants to help our members stay safe around power lines.

Keep a safe distance: Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment your co-op uses to get electricity to your home.

Always remember to:

  • Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers and electrical boxes.

  • Don’t climb trees near power lines.

  • Never fly kits, remote control airplanes or balloons near power lines.

  • If you get something stuck in a power line, call your Touchstone Energy co-op to get it.

  • Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.

  • Never touch or go near a downed power line.

  • Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.

  • Keep children and pets away.


Safety...Around Power Lines and Cars 

If a power line falls on a car you are in, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to stay. Warn people outside the car not to touch the car or the power line. Call or ask someone to call 9-1-1.

The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches fire. Open the door. Do not step out of the car. You may receive a shock. Instead, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground.

As in all power line related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing 911 or Southwest Iowa REC's Service Center/Dispatch Office.

Do not try to help someone else from the car while you are standing on the ground.



Safety...And Portable Generators

When the power is out and you are considering using a portable generator, remember these important safety tips: 

  • If water is anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel.
  • Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Follow manufacturer recommendations and specifications. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of the portable generator, a qualified electrician should be immediately contacted to assist in installation and start-up activities.
  • Operate the generator in a well-ventilated area to reduce build up carbon monoxide (CO). 
  • When using gasoline- and diesel-powered portable generators to supply power, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off" position prior to starting the generator. This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently energized by backfeed, or the reversal of electrical current that goes back through the circuit to the outside power grid, and energizes nearby power lines or electrical systems in other buildings without the knowledge of utility or other workers. When this happens, utility workers are in great danger of electrocution and death. 
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