Practice Electric Safety

Follow these tips to stay safe around electricity no matter the situation. Consider all lines, including downed power lines, to be live and dangerous.

Downed Power Lines

Keep Away from Downed Power Lines

Stay away from downed power lines and anything downed lines may be touching. Report fallen lines immediately to CFU by calling 319-268-6999. If you are in a vehicle that comes into contact with a downed line, stay in the vehicle until help arrives.

If a vehicle contacts a power line or utility pole:

  • Tell others not to approach and stay at least 35 feet away.
  • Have someone call CFU at 319-268-5297 to de-energize the line.
  • Stay inside the vehicle unless you see fire or smoke.

If you are in a vehicle that is in contact with a power line or utility pole and there is fire or smoke:

  • Do not touch the ground and vehicle at the same time.
  • Jump away from the vehicle with your feet together and shuffle away.
  • Avoid lifting your feet.
Power Outage

Safety When the Power is Out

Be prepared for power outages and always follow these safety tips.

  • Keep a flashlight, fresh batteries and a battery powered radio in an accessible spot for use if the power goes out.
  • Turn off major appliances, electronics and your heating system. Electrical devices that may automatically start up when power is back on could overload your circuits.
  • Use surge protectors on computers and home electronics to prevent most damage from lightning or electric service disruptions.
  • Do not operate lanterns, heaters or fuel-fired cook stoves without adequate ventilation. 
  • Report your outage here or on the CFU2Go app.

Stand-By Generator Safety

Have your generator installed by a qualified electrician. It must be isolated from the power grid. If your generator is not connected properly, electricity could backfeed power lines during an outage, causing a dangerous situation for our line crews who are working to repair the lines.


Outdoor Safety

It is important to practice power line safety while outdoors.

  • Locate all overhead power lines and stay at least 10 feet away.
  • Be sure to carry ladders and equipment horizontally.
  • Teach children not to fly kites or play in trees near power lines.
  • When planting young trees, consider their mature size and make sure they will not encroach on power lines as they grow.

Meter Tampering is Hazardous

Tampering with an electric meter is both dangerous and illegal. Touching an energized meter could cause serious injury or death. Meter tampering can cause danger to your family and to CFU line workers. If you think there is a problem with your meter, please call CFU customer service weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 319-268-5280.

Digging & Excavating

Call Before You Dig

Iowa law requires everyone to contact Iowa One Call at least 48 hours before digging on any property for any reason. The toll-free One Call number is 811. One Call will arrange to have the location of all underground services marked on the surface before excavation takes place. Locating services through One Call are provided at no cost to the customer.

Requests can be made 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 811 or 1-800-292-8989 or online at

Projects include (but are not limited to):

  • Installing a fence
  • Planting or removing trees or shrubs 
  • Building a patio, addition, deck, garage, outdoor shed or any similar structure 
  • Putting in a new driveway or sidewalk 
  • Installing a septic system or water drainage system 
  • Terracing or landscaping