June is National Safety Month, and a great opportunity to review just a few of the steps and rules that will make summer safe for you and your loved ones.

• Always call 811 before any project that breaks ground, even those that require a minimal amount of digging. Hitting a buried utility line can result in serious injury, fines, costly repairs and service interruptions. IREA covers the cost of an 811 call, which will dispatch professional utility locators to mark the locations of underground lines, typically within three business days.

• Do not climb trees near power lines, even if they aren’t touching the lines. Drones, kites and model aircraft should not be flown near power lines or other structures such as substations. Never climb utility poles or towers, and don’t allow children to play on or near pad-mounted equipment.

• Carefully plan any landscaping projects so that growing vegetation will not interfere with IREA’s electrical facilities. Shrubbery and other plants can grow to completely cover transformer boxes and other equipment, creating problems for repair crews and causing potential service interruptions. You can read our guidelines for plant materials by visiting www.irea.coop/customer-tools/irea-your-property/.

• Take extra precautions when working on DIY and other improvement projects in and around your home. Be aware of overhead lines when you use a ladder or other extended hardware, staying at least 10 feet from lines at all times. Never trim trees or other vegetation near power lines. You should instead call IREA at (800) 332-9540; we will assess the hazard and, if needed, remove it at our cost.

• Place swimming pools and other water-filled containers at least 5 feet from underground utility lines, and at least 25 feet from overhead power lines.

• Colorado had just two lightning deaths in 2017, but typically ranks high in such fatalities. Immediately seek shelter if you observe lightning or hear thunder.

You can find additional electric safety tips at www.SafeElectricity.org and general safety guidelines at www.NSC.org. If you have any specific questions or concerns about IREA’s service or facilities, call us at (800) 332-9540.