Other Safety Tips
Ice and high winds are often the culprits behind winter power disruptions. Ice-laden tree branches can fall across PEC power lines, and untrimmed branches whipped by wind can also affect your service. If you find yourself in an extended power interruption during cold weather, take the following precautions:
- Wrap yourself in layers of warm clothing, beginning with thermal underwear.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
- Fill containers with water and drain the pipes to keep them from freezing and bursting.
- In extreme cold, group together in one room and seal off any drafts. A room with a fireplace or wood-burning stove should be your headquarters.
- Don’t burn charcoal indoors; the fumes can be lethal.
Thunderstorms and lightning can be a prime cause of power interruptions during the summer. Here are a few suggestions to follow in the event of a prolonged power interruption:
- Use an ice chest or cooler to store ice and food.
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Add ice to your freezer if thawing begins.
- If you are not able to use the stove or oven, cook over an outdoor barbecue grill. Do not burn charcoal indoors; charcoal produces carbon monoxide and can be deadly unless burned in a well-ventilated area.
A recent survey by the Electrical Safety Foundation International found that about one-quarter of Americans don’t understand how ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) work. Here’s some information about these vital devices:
- GFCIs monitor the electricity flowing in and out of a product. If the electric current fluctuates, the GFCI shuts off the power to prevent shock.
- You’ll find most GFCIs where electricity and water could mix, such as in kitchens and bathrooms.
- Test your GFCIs once a month. Plug in a nightlight and turn it on. Push the “Test” button; the light should go off. Push the “Reset” button to turn the light back on.