Winter came in with a bang this week, and most of us aren’t prepared for the cold and snow. To aid you in your preparations here are some tips to keep you safe and warm. The cold weather prompts concern and Cleveland residents should be cognizant of the fact that the majority of electrical fires take place in the winter months.
Downed power lines – Never touch, move or go near any downed or hanging lines. The first action should be to call 9-1-1 or your local utility. CPP’s Trouble Line is 216-664-3156.
- Do not put your feet in water or snow where a downed line is laying
- Do not try to move tree limbs
- If you see someone who has come into contact with a downed line, do not touch them, again call 9-1-1
- If a line comes down on your car stay inside, roll down your window and warn others to stay away. Call authorities or ask a passerby to call authorities. The only time you should exit a vehicle with a downed line on it is if it has caught fire. If the vehicle is on fire, open the door and jump with both feet together to avoid contact with the car. It is metal and you could receive a shock.
Power outage and food safety – Unless there is a major outage extending more than 4 hours, your food should be safe in the refrigerator as long as you leave the doors closed. After that point you may want to begin to prepare and/or eat the food.
Food in the freezer will hold much longer. According to the USDA, “a full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.”
If it appears the outage will last for a prolonged period of time, the USDA advises obtaining dry ice or block ice to keep the refrigerator cold. The USDA reports “fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days.”
In Home Tips
If you must use space heaters to keep warm, ensure that they are plugged directly into an outlet, do not plug them into extension cords.
Keep all furniture, draperies, flammable materials, and other household objects at least three feet from your space heater.
- Always unplug your electric blanket when not in use.
- If an in-wall or baseboard heater is shut off at the circuit breaker, be sure to lock or tag the circuit breaker to prevent someone else from turning it back on.
- Because it is common for portable heaters and electric blankets to be recalled, make sure you check your brand and model to ensure that your particular heater or blanket has not been subject to and product recalls.
- Never ever purchase a counterfeit electrical product because they have not met any of the testing or safety standards and they can be extremely hazardous.
By following this safety advice, you should have a warm cozy and safe winter season. Additionally, be sure to check the batteries in your smoke detector as well as your carbon monoxide detector.
In the event of widespread outages customers will also be able to follow updates as well as report outages on Twitter, by following @clepublicpower on http://www.twitter.com.