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Front Page » January 8, 2008 » Local News » Utility company stresses importance of preparing for elec...
Published 2,831 days ago

Utility company stresses importance of preparing for electrical power outages

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Severe weather conditions, accidents and numerous unpredictable situations can create power outages.

Rocky Mountain Power encourages Carbon County residents to prepare for potential disruptions of electrical services.

"Just as our crews are prepared to respond to outages, we ask our customers to be prepared as well to help ensure the safety and well-being of their families," said Mike Felice, Rocky Mountain Power safety director.

The company urges residents to assemble emergency preparedness kits. Recommended items include flashlights, non-perishable foods, manual can openers, bottled water, blankets, battery-operated radios and clocks along with extra batteries.

If a household member is on life support, people should have a backup system and plan of action for an outage, said Felice.

During a power outage, the company advises residents to:

•Check fuses and circuit breakers. If the power failure is not caused inside the home or business, customers should report the outage by calling toll free at 1-877-548-3768.

•Refrain from opening refrigerators and freezers as much as possible. The appliances will keep food and perishables inside cold for a longer period of time if not opened.

•Preserve body heat by wearing multiple layers of clothing. Add hats and blankets. Placing blankets or towels around windows and doors will help keep heat inside.

•Never use kerosene or propane heaters without proper ventilation. The heaters create dangerous fumes.

•Never use charcoal inside houses or garages.

•Properly wire generators for the home or business. Never connect a generator directly to the main fuse box or circuit panel. It can create a dangerous backfeed hazard for line crews.

•Properly ventilate a portable generator. Gasoline-powered generators produce carbon monoxide.

•Protect pipes during freezing weather by wrapping with insulation. Leave faucets dripping so water will not freeze.

•Turn on the porch lights when power is back in service. After crews complete repairs, they patrol the area of the power failure to see if lights are on.

Power lines carry high voltage electricity that can cause serious injury or death if you get too close. Storms and accidents occasionally cause downed lines, presenting potentially dangerous situations.

"Staying away from downed power lines, acting quickly to keep others out of the area and immediately notifying Rocky Mountain Power or emergency responders can prevent serious injury and save lives," said Felice.

All downed lines should be reported to the company toll-free at 1-888-221-7070.

In addition, local residents should:

•Stay away from all downed power and utility lines. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could still be electrified and extremely dangerous.

•Never touch a person or object that is touching a power line. Call 911 immediately if someone is in contact with a live power line or has been injured by electrical contact.

•Never drive over downed power lines.

•If a power line falls across an occupied vehicle, drivers and passengers should stay inside and wait for emergency personnel to cut the power.

People should warn others to stay away from the vehicle.

•If the car or truck catches on fire and people must exit the vehicle, they should jump with feet together and land as far away from the vehicle as possible. They should hop with both feet touching for at least 30 feet. People should never touch the car and the ground at the same time.

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