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MidAmerican Energy offers safety tips for planting season

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For residents with green-thumbs, planting season is in the air and MidAmerican Energy is offering planting safety tips.

The energy company suggests being aware of power lines overhead

  • Do not attempt to raise or move a power line.
  • Watch for guy wires that support utility poles. Damaging a guy wire can weaken a pole and bring live power lines down.
  • Do not put up a wire fence along the same route as an overhead line.
  • If you are farming, lower equipment to transport level when close to power lines.
  • If a tractor comes in contact with a power line stay seated until help arrives. If there is fire danger, jump as far away from the tractor as you can, keeping your feet together upon landing. Don’t let any part of your body touch the equipment and the ground at the same time.

To avoid electrical injuries

  • Make sure all outlets are three-hole, grounded outlets with faceplates.
  • If you have doubts about the state of electrical circuits, wiring or equipment on a farm or property, have a licensed electrician inspect them.
  • Ground the whole electrical system, and protect ground wires and rods from damage.

When digging keep in mind

  • MidAmerican customers are required to contact 811 with excavation information at least 48-hours before starting a digging project. 811 is a free service.
  • Other times to call 811 are when installing stakes, posts, or fences into the ground. When planting shrubs, installing terracing, landscaping, drain tile, putting in a new driveway, building additions to a home like a deck or patio, or installing a water drainage or septic system. Most garden activities don’t require a call.

When calling 811, the person who is responsible for the work to be done must make the call. Underground electrical, gas, communications/television, water and sewer facilities will be marked. Privately owned underground facilities are not marked by utility companies.

If physical contact is made to underground wires, or damage is done to them, customers should call emergency 911 services and then call 811 to report the incident. MidAmerican says even a small dent or scratch may result in serious structural failure and the possibility of dangerous future incidents.