Remember, downed power lines don’t have to be arcing or sparking to be dangerous. Stay away & contact authorities.
— Erin Hollinshead
UNITED STATES, September 29, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Hurricanes bring a number of dangers—before, during, and after the storm. Hurricanes bring high winds, storm surge, and tornados, and they leave damage in their wake—including flooding and electrical hazards.
While not every tropical storm becomes a hurricane or makes landfall, the National Hurricane Center reports that roughly five hurricanes strike the U.S. coastline during an average three-year period, and these hurricanes result in approximately 50 to 100 fatalities.
“After a storm, limbs & debris may hide an electrical hazard. Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized,” advises Erin Hollinshead, executive director of the Safe Electricity program. “Have a disaster supply kit on hand, and check it annually to update its contents.”
To help keep you safe after the hurricane has passed, Safe Electricity offers these tips:
1. Just because power lines are damaged does not mean they are dead. Downed power lines, stray wires, and debris in contact with them all have the potential to deliver a fatal shock. Stay away, and instruct others to do the same.
2. Never enter a flooded basement if electrical outlets are under water. The water could be energized.
3. Do not use water-damaged electronics before properly restoring them. Electric motors in appliances should be cleaned and reconditioned before use. It may be necessary to replace some of your appliances and electronics. Have your water-damaged items inspected and approved by a professional before using them.
4. If you are driving and come along a downed power line, stay away and warn others to stay away. Contact emergency personnel or your utility company to address the downed power line. If you do come in contact with a downed power line, do not leave the car. Wait for utility and emergency professionals to make sure the power line is de-energized before exiting the car.
5. If using a portable generator there are important safeguards to take:
– Read and follow all manufacturer operating instructions to properly ground the generator. Be sure you understand them before hooking up the generator.
– Never operate a generator in a confined area, such as a garage. Generators can produce numerous gases, including toxic and deadly carbon monoxide. They require proper ventilation.
– Generators pose electrical risks, especially when operated in wet conditions. Use a generator only when necessary when the weather creates wet or moist conditions. Protect the generator by operating it under an open, canopy-like structure on a dry surface where water cannot form puddles or drain under it. — Always ensure that your hands are dry before touching the generator.
– When you refuel the generator, make sure the engine is cool to prevent a fire, should the tank overflow.
-There should be nothing plugged into the generator when you turn it on. This prevents a surge from damaging your generator and appliances.
– Be sure to keep children and pets away from the generator, which could burn them.
– Shut down the generator properly. Before shutting down a generator, turn off and unplug all appliances and equipment being powered by the generator.
– Remember maintenance between uses. It is also a good idea to inspect the fuel and oil filters, spark plug, oil level and fuel quality and to start the generator on a regular basis before an emergency situation occurs.
Help keep your family safe when a hurricane threat presents itself. For more information visit SafeElectricity.org.