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Ameren Offers Spring Safety Tips
Spring brings perfect winds for kite-flying, home improving and tree planting.

However, the month also ushers in a season when people face increased risk of injury from spring activities in or around power lines.

Throughout the year, Ameren utility companies -AmerenCILCO, AmerenCIPS, AmerenIP and AmerenUE -- encourage the safe use of electricity and natural gas. Here are some seasonal safety tips from your utility company:

Use only non-conductive materials for making a kite. Wire, tinsel and metal conduct electricity when they touch electric wires or are struck by lightning.

Fly kites in wide open places far away from power lines.

If your kite gets caught in a power line, leave it there.

Avoid flying kites in stormy weather. Wet kite strings can conduct electricity from power lines and lightning.

When climbing trees, check to make sure there are no power lines hidden among the limbs. Choose a tree that is away from power lines.

If you are painting or making repairs on your house, be careful where you carry and place your ladder. Avoid contact with wires running overhead.

Avoid planting trees in locations that will cause problems with power lines once the trees are full grown.

Before digging in your yard, call the service that marks the location of underground utilities in your area to make sure you do not strike underground power lines or gas pipes. In Missouri, it's the Missouri One Call System (MOCS) at 1-800-DIG-RITE (1-800-344-7483), and such notification is required by state law. In Illinois, the law requires contacting JULIE (Joint Utility Location Information System for Excavators) at 1-800-892-0123.

A single call to MOCS or JULIE from an excavator who plans to dig triggers a location request message to all participating utilities who may have facilities near the excavation. Providing the required information to the MOCS and JULIE not only helps ensure safety, but it also satisfies excavators' notification obligations under state law.

For additional safety information, visit Ameren's Web site (www.ameren.com) and the Safe Electricity Web site---www.safeelectricity.org.

Ameren's operating companies provide energy services to 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile service area in Missouri and Illinois.

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