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Ameren Missouri Teaches Electric Safety
Students at Annunciation Catholic School Instructed to Avoid Power Lines

Recently, more than 150 students at Annunciation Catholic School in Webster Groves got a valuable lesson in electric safety. Ameren Missouri educated pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students about safety around power lines and instructed them to stay away from all downed lines. 

During the 45-minute presentation, students asked several questions and were highly engaged. They learned valuable lessons that they can now apply to their lives and share with friends and family members. One of the most exciting moments featured a live demonstration of what would happen from touching an energized power line. A hotdog was used to simulate the effect; students were allowed to hold and touch the burned hotdog after the demonstration.

“The hot dogs being hit with electricity showed what would happen if someone would touch or pick up a live wire,” said fourth-grade student Austin Brush. “The flashing was exciting and scary.”

In addition to students, Annunciation teachers and administrators benefited from the information.

“The demonstration gave me and our students a real appreciation for the power of electricity and a greater sense of understanding that the workers of Ameren are truly first responders in what can be truly dangerous situations,” said Fr. Bob Evans, pastor, Annunciation Parish. “We see the workers in the routine day-to-day jobs but when there is an electrical crisis they are the ones we need to call first.”

The presentation was led by Ameren Missouri’s Dave Wakeman, vice president of Energy Delivery-Distribution Services, and Willie Mannings, supervisor of Distribution Operating, and line troublemen Rich Naes, Dwayne Foley and Darren Williams. They focused on:

  • Avoiding contact with overhead power lines.
  • Avoiding tree limbs or other objects that are touching power lines because electricity can travel through objects (especially when objects are wet).
  • Staying at least 50 feet away from downed power lines because it’s difficult to distinguish between electric, telephone and cable lines.
  • Warning other children and notifying adults if they see a downed power line.
  • Avoiding riding their bicycle over a downed power line.
  • Remaining inside the car if a downed line is on the car (but if they absolutely have to exit the car to jump clear of the area and avoid touching the car and ground at the same time).
  • Refraining from climbing utility poles or transmission towers.

“We are committed to educating the public how to be safe around electricity and natural gas in all conditions and seasons,” Wakeman said. “When we focus on safety, it saves lives.”


Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than a century, and our electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. We serve 1.2 million electric and 126,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. Our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers 63 counties and more than 500 towns, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit AmerenMissouri.com.

CONTACT: Missouri Communications, 314.554.2182, missouricommunications@ameren.com