Electrical Outage Safety

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Power Outage Safety Tips

Tri-Cities winter storms sometimes cause extended power outages. Richland Energy Services crews are on-call around the clock to restore power as quickly as possible. In cold winter weather, planning ahead will ensure your comfort and safety. Here are some tips to help you be prepared.

Have these necessary supplies readily available:

 Flashlights  Matches  Food that doesn't require heating or refrigeration
 Gloves  Extra batteries  Water - 1 gallon per person per day
 Hats  Candles  Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
 Blankets  Battery-operated lantern  

 

  • Call Richland Energy Services to report an outage Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 942-7421 or 942-7423. After hours, call 943-4428. Please don’t call 911 to report power outages.
  • Stay clear of downed power lines, and call Richland Energy Services immediately when you see one.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, kerosene, or charcoal-burning devices inside your home or other enclosed space. They produce carbon monoxide, which can be fatal if inhaled.
  • Dress in layers including a hat, which helps your body retain heat.
  • Store flashlights, extra batteries, and other outage supplies where you can easily access them.
  • Keep blankets and other flammable materials away from lighted candles.
  • Turn off the electric range, toaster oven, curling iron, lights, or other electronics that were on when the power went out. This will prevent the devices from causing a fire when power is restored. It also will help us restore power faster. If too many items are on when the power is restored, the electrical system can overload and go out again.
  • Leave on one light so you know when power is restored.
  • Know how to open your garage door manually.
  • If you must travel, be aware that traffic and street lights may not be functioning.
  • Consider having at least one phone that does not require charging, or keep extra charged cell phone batteries available.
  • Avoid opening your refrigerator and freezer. Use a food thermometer to test the food’s temperature. Discard any food that that has been exposed to temperatures greater than 40°F for more than two hours or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
  • If you have a generator, plug your appliances directly into it. Do not connect the generator to your home’s power system unless it has an L&I-inspected automatic transfer switch that disconnects it from the main power grid during operation. If the generator does not disconnect from the power grid, it will send electricity into the power lines which can be deadly for electrical workers.
  • If you need electrical service for medical equipment, have a battery backup or be prepared to go somewhere that has power.
  • Be a good neighbor. Check on others to make sure they are ok.