Should severe weather interrupt electric service, keep these important tips in mind:
- Stay clear of downed and sagging wires. Treat all downed wires as if they are energized and keep a safe distance. Also make sure children and pets maintain a safe distance. Immediately report downed wires to us at 1-800-477-5050 or the local law enforcement agency.
- Don't attempt to repair or remove limbs from lines.
- Please don't interfere with utility crews while they are working.
- Unplug or turn off all appliances that run continually or operate automatically. This includes your furnace, refrigerator, computer, stove, water heater, TV, VCR and microwave. This can prevent them from being damaged if a voltage surge occurs when power is restored.
- Keep one light "on" so you'll know when your electricity has been restored.
If you are leaving the house, turn the main breaker off. This will reduce the chance of appliance damage and safety problems if power is restored while you are away.
- Before removing damaged trees or branches, check closely to make sure no lines are touching them.
Please be patient as our crews work to repair damaged substations and electric wires. Rest assured, we are working to restore your service as quickly as possible. Stay tuned to your local radio station for regular updates on the progress of our restoration efforts.
A home generator can be very useful in the event of an extended power outage. Choosing a generator that will suit your needs is very important. Various size (output) generators are available in permanent and portable models. There are several safety considerations when selecting a generator.
Typically, a generator produces 1,000 watts of power for every HP motor output. It is important to choose a generator that produces 25 percent more power than the total load to be connected. Adding up the power requirements of the appliances and equipment you design to use during a power outage will help you determine the size generator needed.
Connecting the generator is another important consideration. An improperly connected generator can pose a serious risk to you, your neighbors and utility crews working to restore your power.
- Never operate a generator in your home, garage, basement or any other enclosed area. A generator needs to be at least 3 feet to 4 feet from an enclosed area as well as away from doors, windows and fresh air intakes where exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide can enter the home. Proper ventilation is always critical.
- Never fuel a generator when it is running. Turn the generator off and let it cool before refueling.
Before permanently installing a generator, contact your local electrical inspector and a qualified electrician to obtain the proper permits and connection criteria. Always read the Owner’s Manual provided with your generator to obtain specific operating guideline. For more important information about generators, please see our brochure, " Home Generator Safety."
Other Tips For Service Interruptions
Frozen food should stay frozen for 36-48 hours in a fully loaded freezer, if you keep the door closed. Dry ice will keep food frozen over longer periods of time. (See our List For A Dry Ice Supplier In Your Area.)
Cooking on a camp stove, fireplace or can of sterno can be done with care during power outages. Be sure to provide enough ventilation if you cook or heat with alternate fuels. Use camp stoves and charcoal grills outside only.
Sump pump users may find flooding to be a problem during power outages. Do not go into the flooded area if the pump is plugged in, even if it isn't operating. After power is restored, stay out of the wet area until you've turned off the power.
While you are waiting for the power to come back on, please take a moment to check the electric service mast or cable above the meter to make sure it has not been damaged. Utility crews will reconnect the wires to your home, but only a licensed electrician can repair or replace a mast or a cable.
Article courtesy of Consumers Energy