Important Safety Tips

If you are utilizing an emergency generator, it is very important to operate your generator properly to avoid dangerous back-feeding that could potentially injure you and/or a utility lineworker.

Be extra cautious if you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by trees or debris and could be live. Never attempt to touch or move downed lines. Keep children and pets away from them.  

Make sure you always have a well-stocked home emergency supply kit that includes flashlights, portable radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food and a manual can opener.

Check with your friends and neighbors to ensure their safety.

If you are in need of assistance please call 211 for information on community assistance such as food, water, shelter and cooling stations. If you have an emergency please call 911.

Ensure that your Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are working correctly and have fresh batteries. Check your outside fuel exhaust vents, making sure that they are not obstructed. Never use cooking equipment intended for outside use indoors as a heat source or cooking device.

If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly into the bowl can flush a toilet.

During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door. Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours, and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed). If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.

In order to protect against possible voltage irregularities that can occur when power is restored, you should unplug all sensitive electronic equipment, including your TV, stereo, smart devices, microwave oven, computers and garage door opener. Be sure to leave one light on, so you will know when power is restored.

Review the process for manually opening an electric garage door. Determine how long you can stay in your home without power. If someone in your home has a medical condition requiring electricity, it is important you make arrangements for where to go until your power is restored.

If pipes freeze, remove insulation, completely open the faucet and carefully pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they are most exposed to the cold.

Know how to shut off water valves before a storm hits.

If you lose your heat, seal off unused rooms by stuffing towels in the cracks under the doors. At night, cover windows with extra blankets or sheets.

For Your Safety and Ours

A portable generator can seem like a lifesaver during a power outage for powering home medical equipment, refrigerators/freezers, and water pumps. Safe use protects you and those restoring power.

Tips for safely using your portable generator:

  1. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before running the generator and the maintenance schedule after use to keep it in peak performance and operating safely.
  2. Never use a generator inside your home, garage, basement, or any enclosed area. Generators give off carbon monoxide. Fatal fumes can build up and neither an open window nor a fan can provide enough fresh air.
  3. Use battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors inside your home near where the generator is running as fumes can be pulled inside.
  4. Generators often run on gasoline, and fumes can start fires. Wait at least 2 to 5 minutes for your generator to cool before adding fresh gasoline. Have a charged fire extinguisher nearby. Add fuel stabilizer if you won’t be using the generator for more than 30 days.
  5. Never plug your generator directly into electrical wiring. This can energize power lines and endanger line workers. Have a qualified electrician install a power transfer switch.
  6. Protect your generator from exposure to wet conditions such as rain, snow, or sprinklers, as high voltage and water don’t mix.
  7. Never use near flammable materials and never place anything on or under the generator. Keep the area clean and empty.
  8. Never let children or pets near the generator or extension cords.