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Safety Outdoors 

Bolty and Wordmark PNG file
Bolty, IPL's mascot, can help you teach
your children to be safe around electricity.
Click here for Bolty's Kid's Korner.

Electricity is very powerful and can be dangerous if used improperly. Electricity travels at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second). If you come in contact with an electrical current, there is no warning and there is no time to react. 

When working outside after a storm, be sure to watch out for downed power lines under fallen tree limbs.

If you see a downed power line, stay away from it and call IPL immediately at 317.261.8111. This number is answered by IPL personnel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Never touch any fallen wire, even with a broom or long-handled item. Consider every wire on the ground to be energized and especially dangerous. Call IPL at 317.261.8111 (or toll free: 888.261.8222) or contact local law enforcement. 
  • Notify IPL and other utilities first if you plan to dig, excavate, bore, tunnel, blast or otherwise disturb the earth where buried utilities are located. The number to call is 1.800.382.5544 or 811.
  • Stay clear of overhead power lines. Never assume an overhead power line is insulated.
    • Keep construction crane booms, grain augers used in farming operations, flag poles, long-handled tree trimming tools, and long-handled swimming pool equipment away from overhead power lines.
    • Never move any large object without first looking up.
    • Don't put a tool shed, swimming pool, swings or playground equipment underneath a power line.
    • Never climb utility poles, towers or substation fences. If you have lost something over a substation fence, call us at 317.261.8111 and we'll be happy to send a representative to retrieve it for you.
    • Never put up a ladder beneath a power line or lean a ladder against a power line pole.
    • Don't fly kites near power lines. If a kite should fall on a power line, never try to retrieve it or touch the kite string. Call IPL at 317.261.8111 for help.
  • If you are involved in a traffic accident that results in power lines touching your car, DO NOT GET OUT of your car unless there is an immediate threat to your life, like fire. The tires DO NOT protect you. If you must get out, jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Then shuffle away from the car, keeping both feet close together, to minimize the path of electric current and avoid electric shock. If you encounter an accident, do not approach a car that is touching power lines. Remain a safe distance away, keep the victim in the vehicle calm and wait for emergency personnel to handle the situation. (More on this topic.)
  • Never drive over downed power lines. Even if not energized, they can become entangled in your vehicle. 
  • Never touch a person who is in contact with power lines or other objects that are touching power lines. You cannot help them by being electrocuted yourself. 
  • Do not attempt to cut or remove a tree that is, or could become, entangled with power lines. Contact IPL for assistance at 317.261.8111. 
  • Do not allow children to play in trees close to power lines, or to swing on guy wires. If there are downed lines in your neighborhood, keep your children and pets inside. Teach your children about electrical safety as early as possible. 
  • Do not plant vegetation to grow up or near utility poles or guy wires, or throw objects up into power lines. These can cause short circuits that could result in injuries. 
  • Teach children about electric safety. Visit Bolty's kids page filled with coloring pages and activities that help kids learn about electric safety.