Electricity and water don’t mix. Never use electrical appliances close to water, and never use electrically operated power tools in the rain or in wet conditions.

  • Electric-powered lawnmowers shouldn’t be used when grass is wet. 
  • Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers before use for frayed power cords, or broken housings or plugs. 
  • When using tools or extension cords outdoors, make sure they are marked for outdoor use. 
  • Unplug all portable power tools when they’re not being used. Don’t leave power tools unattended, even briefly. 
  • Metal ladders conduct electricity. Be careful of overhead wires and power lines. 
  • Stay away from electrical equipment and substations. 
  • If you see a downed power line, stay away from it and call 9-1-1 or CEC immediately.

Outdoor Safety Tips

Remind kids about electric safety!

Kids love to climb trees. Teach them to watch out for trees or shrubs that have power lines passing near them. These lines are generally uninsulated and they can kill. Trees are excellent conductors of electricity, particularly when wet. Teach your children to keep toy airplanes and kites away from trees and power lines. Never try to retrieve a kite or plane by poking a stick into a power line.  

Never climb on transformers or up electric poles. Instruct your children to stay away from utility substation fences. If you see a substation fence or transformer cabinet that has been vandalized, call CEC (link is external) immediately. Teach children to look for DANGER signs displayed on all high voltage equipment. If a child (or an adult) sees a downed or damaged power line, he/she must not go near it! The child should tell an adult who will see that CEC is notified.

Work Safely with Heavy Equipment

Accidents involving heavy equipment coming into contact with power lines constitute a major portion of the electrically related fatalities each year in this country. 

By following a few simple procedures, you can work safety around electric wires. The first step in electric safety on a work site is to survey the area carefully. Note where every electric wire is, and be sure your equipment will clear any wires by more than 10 feet. If you're not sure if a particular wire is an electric wire, assume that it is. Maintain a distance of at least 10 feet between electric lines or equipment and your machinery. Mark off a "safe zone" and stay within it.

If your work will require any excavation or drilling, contact Choctaw Electric (link is external) before you begin work so they can clearly mark any underground lines. A CEC employee will be happy to come to your work site to help you provide a safe work place for your employees.

Cutting Trees Safely

Do you have plans to clear some land for farming or for building a new house or barn?

Maybe you're cutting a new right-of-way to service as a road, or perhaps you're just getting rid of some old dead trees. Regardless of the chore at hand, cutting down trees demands attention to safety measures.

A careful surveillance of the vicinity is essential before you begin any tree work. Look overhead and to all sides surrounding your cutting site. Be very sure that your tree will not come into contact with any powerline when it falls. Wood can be a conductor of electricity. Each year several deaths and cases of serious injury are reported which involve trees falling into powerlines.

Above all, if you do cause a tree to fall into a power line or you come across a tree which has fallen into a line, do not under any circumstances attempt to remove the tree. Stay clear of it and the line. Call CEC (link is external) as soon as possible. We will see to it that the problem is taken care of right away.

Check Out Your Equipment

Keep all electrical appliances a safe distance away from water and don't use power tools when standing in wet areas. Power tools should be properly grounded and use only heavy-duty extension cords rated for outdoor use.

Landscape with Care

Call before you dig! CEC can tell you the location of any underground lines. Or, to locate electric, gas and telephone lines with one phone call, Call OKIE. It's a free service by calling 1-800-522-6543.  

Don't plant tall-growing trees under power lines. If you have a tree with power lines running above it, don't climb it or build anything in it.

Keep Clear of Power Lines

When power lines are nearby, use wooden or fiberglass ladders - not metal. Carry ladders or long-handled tools low enough to avoid coming in contact with overhead lines. Keep in mind, the State Law of Oklahoma prohibits any equipment or tool from coming within six feet of an energized conductor even momentarily. This stresses the extreme hazards of performing jobs around energized power lines.