Electric safety

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 three-prong/two-prong adapters 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.
  • 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

  • Visit several days before any digging project. Confirm the utilities have been marked, including buried electric lines, before you or others start any work that involves digging on your property.
  • Have ground fault circuit interrupter outlets and waterproof covers installed on all outdoor outlets.
  • Keep yourself, tools, ladders, building materials and other items at least 10 feet away from overhead lines and building electrical connection points.
  • Don’t assume the black coating on wires is insulation. It could just be plastic weatherproofing that provides no protection from contact injuries.
  • Call a professional for help trimming trees near overhead lines.
  • Keep children and pets away from utility equipment, including meters and transformers.
  • Don’t let anyone climb trees or fly drones or kites near power lines.
  • Don’t disguise transformers or meters with paint, bushes or decorative covers. 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.
  • Do not loosen or remove electrical meter sockets, and do not remove or replace building materials behind meter sockets. Contact ײƵ for assistance at 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268).
  • Don’t hang signs on utility poles. Nails, staples and 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.
  • The overhead electrical connection point to homes and buildings, known as a weather head, can pose an electrical shock hazard. Do not contact any wires at or connecting to the weather head while performing roofing, siding or similar work.

If your vehicle contacts a power line, follow these tips:

  • Stay in the vehicle. Do not open the doors or step outside. When inside, you are not a part of electricity's path to the ground.
  • If people come near the vehicle to help you, warn them to stay far away. If you haven’t called for help, ask them to dial 911.
  • Wait until a qualified person verifies the line is not energized and tells you it’s safe to exit the vehicle.
  • If you MUST leave the car because of fire or other danger, try to jump clear of the vehicle so you don't touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with both feet together. Keep your feet together on the ground and shuffle away, a few inches at a time.

Report an emergency (downed power line, natural gas leak, carbon monoxide alarm or other emergency)

Call us at: 

1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268).

For emergencies, please do not use an online form or send an email.

Gas safety

Visit our Gas Safety page for information on how to stay safe around natural gas.

learn more