Consider These Tips When Winter Weather Knocks Out Power Lines

Posted on January 16, 2013

Even though here in Los Angeles we remain relatively safe from winter storms that produce snow and ice, we think it’s important to bring you tips geared toward remaining safe in such circumstances.  If you travel, then you never know when winter weather could compromise your safety wherever you are.  Should you ever find yourself losing power in the midst of a winter storm, consider some safety tips from the Madison County Fire Department in Tennessee.

First, be cognizant of the havoc that an ice or snow storm can wreak on power lines in the area.  Should weighty ice accumulate on these lines, or even on nearby trees that can then topple into the lines, it can lead to a power outage and a number of dangers to those in the vicinity.

If you every find yourself near downed power lines (even if it’s not in a winter storm), keep as far away as possible.  Just because sparks aren’t shooting out from the line does not mean that it would be safe to touch or be around.  This could still be an active line, and you could still be endangered by it.  Debris from the winter storm may also make it so that the threat from a power line can’t be made readily apparent.  Err on the side of caution; stay away, and alert your local utility company as soon as possible.  If anyone else is in the area, also politely inform them of the danger.  And even if you can confirm that a power line has been knocked out of service, keep away anyway, as you never know when a crew will get things working again and the line will suddenly be electrified anew.

Also be ready to take the necessary precautions when your power goes out.  This is a big reason why you’ll want to keep all fire and carbon monoxide alarms fitted with new batteries.  They can still alert you to danger at such times when you lose power.  If you have to turn to candles to hold the darkness at bay, then make sure they’re placed on a steady surface where a pet or child won’t be able to touch or topple them.  They should also be blown out if you leave the room for any amount of time.

Finally, it could get cold fast when the power is out, so you might turn to space heaters for warmth.  Just like candles, pets and kids should be kept sufficiently far away from the units and told not to try to move it or touch the incredibly hot surface.  When you go to sleep or leave the room, turn the heater off so that you know it won’t pose a hazard while you’re away.

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