June is National Safety Month and, because of all the outdoor activity that comes with summer months, an excellent time to think about how you and your loved ones can stay safe this season.

Never climb trees near power lines, even if their branches don’t touch the lines. Drones, kites and model aircraft should not be flown near power lines or facilities such as substations. Please keep clear of utility poles and towers, as well as pad-mounted equipment such as transformers.

Call 811 at least three business days before you begin any project that includes digging. Professional utility locators will use flags and paint to mark the locations of underground electric, gas, cable, phone and other lines within the designated area. This free service is covered by IREA and other utilities and helps you prevent service interruptions, heavy fines, expensive repairs, injury and even death.

Stay at least 10 feet away from power lines and equipment, and never trim trees or other vegetation near either. Instead, contact IREA at (800) 332-9540 to report any potential hazards involving vegetation and our equipment or facilities.

Do not post fliers or anything else to utility poles. They can present a danger to the public, but also to our linemen and other field personnel. Many municipalities have even banned this practice.

Immediately call (800) 332-9540 if you see a downed power line or piece of equipment. Never approach a downed line – even if you don’t think it is live – and stay at least 10 feet away.

IREA appreciates your mindfulness when it comes to electricity and outdoor safety. Your awareness helps save lives.