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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What to do in a Power Outage

Check fuses and circuit breakers. If the power failure is not caused inside the home or business, customers should report the outage to their electric service provider.

Try not to open refrigerators and freezers -- they will keep food and perishables inside cold for a longer period of time if not opened. Your full freezer should keep food frozen and safe to eat for about two days when kept closed during the outage.

In cold months - put blankets and towels around windows and doors to help keep the heat in.

Never use kerosene or propane heaters inside without proper ventilation. They create dangerous fumes. Also, don't ever use charcoal in your house or garage.

Stay far away from all downed power lines and utility lines. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could still be electrified and extremely dangerous. Keep everyone, including pets, out of the area and report the downed line immediately by calling 911 or the local electric service provider. Never touch a person or object that is touching a power line and never drive over downed power lines.

Make sure generators are properly wired for your home or business. Don't plug a generator into an outlet, and do not connect it directly to your home's fuse box or circuit panel. The generator must be connected through an approved transfer switch that will isolate your house from the electric utility's system. The switch must comply with the National Electric Code and local building codes. These include permits, inspection and installation by a licensed electrician. Always properly ventilate a portable generator. Gasoline powered generators produce carbon monoxide and the fumes can be deadly. Make sure that the total electric load on your generator won't exceed the generator's rating.

If a power line falls across your vehicle while you are in it, stay inside and wait for emergency personnel to cut the power. Warn others to stay away from the vehicle. If your car is on fire and you must exit, Jump - with both feet together - as far from the car as possible. Do not touch the car and the ground at the same time! Land with both feet still together and hop with both feet touching until you are a safe distance away (at least 30 feet).

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