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Safe Electricity Provides Essential Guidelines For Generator Safety

Generator
For Immediate Release (217) 546-6815 Email: info@safeelectricity.org SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – When severe storms and natural disasters cause power outages, it can be an inconvenience—or even a problem—to be without electricity. Purchasing a backup generator can help with preparation for such power outages and provide peace of mind. As with all things involving electricity, the incorrect use of generators can create potentially hazardous situations. Safe Electricity outlines essential considerations in purchasing the right generator and safely operate it. “Improper use of a standby or portable generator can lead to injury or even death,” explains Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council’s Safe Electricity program. “It’s important to learn and follow all safety measures to help keep yourself and others safe.” Decide what needs powered. What appliances, devices, and equipment are essential? Choose a generator size that can handle the full load of the estimated power needed. Keep in mind that it takes more power to turn an appliance on—its surge Read More

Generator Safety

Generator
Spanish Version  Portable or permanently installed standby generators can come in handy during long-term power outages. However, if you do not know how to use them properly, they can be dangerous. Contact a qualified vendor or electrician to help you determine what generator is best suited to your needs. Before using, read and follow manufacturer’s instructions. If you are installing a permanent generator, it must have a transfer switch. The transfer switch prevents energy from leaving your generator and going back onto the utility electrical equipment, when it could be dangerous to a lineman or others near downed power lines, a process known as “back feed.” A qualified electrician should install your generator and transfer switch. Safe Electricity has the following tips to use portable generators safely: Operate it outdoors in an area with plenty of ventilation. Never run a generator in a home or garage. Generators give off deadly carbon monoxide. Do not plug a generator into the wall Read More

Generator Selection

Generator
So you think you need a portable generator If you live somewhere where storms and severe weather cause frequent power outages, you may be considering purchasing a generator to hold you over during outages. Safe Electricity wants you to understand the benefits, limitations, and safety considerations of generators before you even enter a store. Before anything else, you need to know where you will put a generator. Never use a generator in your home or garage. They give off deadly carbon monoxide. You should operate your generator outdoors on a dry, level surface. Your generator should be under a canopy. Remember, water and a generator is a dangerous combination. After you know where you will run a generator, you should decide what electronics the generator will power. A portable generator cannot meet all your electric needs. You must decide what electronics would be most important during a power outage. Add up the wattage of these appliances. Your generator should have Read More

Urge Caution When Using Back-Up Generators

Generator
During long-term power outages, many rely on portable generators for emergency power.  The growing popularity of portable electric generators has resulted in millions being placed in homes and small businesses across the nation. But it’s estimated only a small percentage are hooked up correctly. Safe Electricity urges consumers to understand the proper safety steps that must be taken. If installed and operated correctly, use of standby or portable electric generators poses little danger. Improper installation or use could be dangerous to you and threaten the lives of your family, friends, neighbors and electric utility crews trying to restore service. “Consult and discuss your purchase options with a reliable vendor, your electric supplier and contractors,” advises Jay Solomon, University of Illinois Extension Engineering Educator. “A qualified vendor or electric professional will know existing safety codes and the utility’s safety requirements, and can help you select the best equipment for your needs and situation.” Properly connecting the generator into the system is Read More

Safe Use of Generators

Generator
During a power outage, you may find yourself in the dark and unable to use your appliances for a period of time. A generator can provide temporary electricity that, depending on type, can power a few appliances or an entire building. While convenient during an outage, generators used improperly can also create safety hazards. Before investing in a generator, think first about your electrical needs and usage. Know the difference between standby and portable generators: Standby generators are wired directly into the home and can be sized to match the electrical demands of the home or building. A permanently installed standby generator must have an approved transfer safety switch to avoid feeding electricity back into the electrical system outdoors, creating what’s known as “backfeed.” Backfeed is dangerous for line workers as well as anyone who may be near downed power lines. Portable generators do not permanently attach to the home, and can power only the appliances that are plugged into Read More



Electrical Dangers Rise Along with Flood Waters in the Carolinas

Hurricane
For Immediate Release Contact: Krista Lisser (217) 546-6815 Email: klisser@illinois.edu (SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) —Hurricane Florence has weakened, but the storm is far from over. The threat of tornadoes and continued flooding remains a serious problem in many areas. Hundreds of thousands remain without power in the Carolinas and many are turning to generators to power their homes. Safe Electricity wants consumers to be aware of electrical hazards from flooding as well as generator safety considerations. At least three deaths have been associated with generators in the Carolinas. One North Carolina man was killed when he was electrocuted while plugging in his generator, and a couple in South Carolina died due to carbon monoxide poisoning from their generator. “Improper use of a standby or portable generator can be deadly to the user and others in the area,” says Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council and its Safe Electricity program. “It’s important to follow all safety measures to help keep Read More

Hurricane Safety Talking Points

Hurricane
Safety after a Hurricane Storm debris can hide dangers, such as downed power lines. Use caution in any clean-up effort.  Any downed or sagging wires should be considered energized and potentially dangerous. Stay away, warn others to stay away, and call the utility. If power lines come down on or around your vehicle, call for help and remain in the vehicle. Do not attempt to get out until a utility lineman can assure you the power has been turned off. Only in the rare instance of fire should people exit the car. Then, they must know how to do so safely, jumping free and clear of the vehicle, landing with feet together and hopping away. If you come upon or witness an accident involving toppled power poles and lines, don’t leave your vehicle to approach the accident scene. From the point where the downed line is making contact, deadly voltage will radiate for an unknown distance. Use caution at intersections Read More

Safety after the Storm and During Power Outages

Storm Safety Kit
Video Spanish version Severe storms are devastating to homes, properties, and lives. These storms can also take down power lines—creating a dangerous situation for all of us, including the line crews working hard to get your power turned back on. How long it takes to get your power restored depends on the extent of the storm’s destruction, the number of outages, and the point when it is safe for utility personnel to get to the damaged areas. There are many steps in the assessment and restoration process—clearing downed power lines; ensuring public health and safety facilities are operational; checking power stations and transformers; repairing transmission lines, substations, and distribution lines; and getting power restored to customers within the damaged areas. Contact your electric utility to report the outage and use caution if venturing outside after a storm: Just because power lines are damaged does not mean they are dead. Every downed power line is potentially energized and dangerous until utility Read More

Prepare a storm kit to help you get through a power outage.

Home Storm Preparation
Video Getting Through Until Power Gets Restored to You Severe storms are devastating to homes, properties, and lives. These storms can also take down power lines—creating a dangerous situation for all of us, including the linemen and linewomen working hard to get your power turned back on. How long it takes to get your power restored depends on the extent of the storm’s destruction, the number of outages, and when it becomes safe for utility personnel to get to the damaged areas. There are many steps in the assessment and restoration process—clearing downed power lines; ensuring public health and safety facilities are operational; checking power stations and transformers; repairing transmission lines, substations, and distribution lines; and getting power restored to customers within the various damaged areas. Be sure to contact your electric utility immediately to report the outage. Safe Electricity and its members want you to know how to stay safe and get through until power can be restored to Read More

What To Do During An Electrical Outage

Power Outages
Weather, accidents, and storms can disrupt the electricity we are so used to having. Sometimes electricity flickers momentarily then comes back. Serious damage to power lines and the electrical grid can cause outages for days, or weeks. Safe Electricity has valuable information to keep you safe and comfortable during a power outage of any length. Short-Term Power Failures Don't panic! Check to see if your neighbors still have electricity. If they do, the problem could be inside your home. Check your main fuses or circuit breakers to see if they have blown or tripped. Replacing a fuse or resetting a circuit breaker may restore your electricity. If the problem is not in your home, call your electric supplier. A repairperson will be dispatched as quickly as possible. Your supplier should also be able to tell you if it will be an extended outage. Unplug appliances with electronic components, such as microwaves, televisions and computers. This will help to eliminate damage Read More

What to do During an Electrical Outage?

Storm Safety
For Immediate Release Contact: Molly Hall, info@safeelectricity.org, 217-546-6815 (SPRINGFIELD, IL) –Weather, accidents, and storms can disrupt the electricity we are so used to having. Sometimes electricity flickers momentarily then comes back. Serious damage to power lines and the electrical grid can cause outages for days, or weeks. Safe Electricity has valuable information to keep you safe and comfortable during a power outage of any length. Short-Term Power Failures Don't panic! Check to see if your neighbors still have electricity. If they do, the problem could be inside your home. Check your main fuses or circuit breakers to see if they have blown or tripped. Replacing a fuse or resetting a circuit breaker may restore your electricity. If the problem is not in your home, call your electric supplier. A repairperson will be dispatched as quickly as possible. Your supplier should also be able to tell you if it will be an extended outage. Unplug appliances with electronic components, such as Read More

Safety Before and After Storms

Storm Safety Kit
Video Checklist Spanish version Severe storms are more common in the spring and summer, but they can occur any time of year. Be prepared for storms and know how to stay safe. Before the storm: Assemble a kit of essentials, like water, battery-operated flashlights, and radios. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers, including the electric utility. Be prepared for the possibility of a prolonged outage due to power line and electric equipment damage. If severe weather is on its way, pay attention to local weather reports and recommendations. A tornado or severe storm watch means conditions are favorable for those weather conditions forming. A warning means dangerous weather conditions are developing and imminent. Lightning can travel up to ten miles away from a storm, so seek shelter when you hear thunder. Consider installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) or purchasing a portable GFCI. GFCIs detect dangerous electrical situations and cut off power before a person can be shocked. These Read More

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane
Both during and after a hurricane, those living in the area of impact are exposed to an enormous amount of risks. The most effective way to stay safe is to be prepared. Check forecasts regularly and alert your loved ones if a storm is heading your way. Familiarize yourself with how your area reports and responds to disaster conditions so that you can respond effectively in the event of a disaster. Make yourself aware of community-specific evacuation plans in your area. Keep a list of emergency contacts where it is easily accessible. On this list, include your local utility company. By investing in a NOAA weather radio, you’ll be able to stay up-to-date with changes in the weather, even if power has been lost. Prepare an emergency kit where it is easy accessible, containing items such as water, food, and a first aid kit. Keep enough food on hand for between three and seven days. The best types of foods are non-perishable, packaged, or canned. Access to water in Read More

Power Line Safety After The Storm

Downed Lines and Trees
video Severe weather happens year-round. Tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms can seriously damage power lines and other electrical equipment. Storm damage causes dangers that lurk after a storm has passed. Safe Electricity encourages you to be aware of and prepared for those dangers. When you see power lines on the ground following a storm, stay away, warn others to stay away and contact the electric utility. Lines do not have to be arcing or sparking to be live. Any utility wire, including telephone or cable lines sagging or down could be in contact with an energized power line making they also very dangerous, so stay away from all of them. Be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. A downed power line can energize things around it, such as chain link fences and metal culverts. Keep in mind that a line that’s indeed “dead” could become energized during power restoration efforts or improper Read More

Keep Your Cool While The Power’s Out

Power Outage
Safe Electricity offers tips for weathering prolonged power outages video Severe summer storms can cause outages that last days. When a power outage occurs during hot weather, take steps to maintain safety and comfort until power is restored. High winds that topple utility poles and power lines cause many summer outages. It’s important to stay clear of downed power lines at all times, even during cleanup efforts. Be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. Assume that any dangling wires you encounter are electrical and treat all downed or hanging lines as if they are energized and dangerous. If you are driving and come upon a downed power line, stay in your vehicle, warn others to stay away and contact emergency personnel or your electric utility. Also when driving, be careful at intersections where traffic lights may be out. If power to your home is out for a prolonged period, know and understand important Read More

Know How To Stay Safe After A Hurricane

Hurricane Safety
For Immediate Release Contact: Molly Hall, info@safeelectricity.org, 217-546-6815 Give Your Family “TLC” (SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) — Televised reports of natural disasters where wind is involved frequently display electrical arcs from power lines and damaged transformers. While spectacular in nature, they also illustrate the potential electrocution danger associated with natural disasters. Hurricanes can tear apart the electrical grid, increasing the danger for both the public and utility workers. When Hurricane Hugo struck Puerto Rico in 1989 all nine fatalities were from electrocution, and four people who lost their lives were working to restore power after the storm. Three others died when they touched energized power lines. Hurricane Isabel’s strike against North America in 2003 was blamed for the deaths of three utility workers who were removing lines from tree branches. In 2011, electrocution fatalities from Hurricane Irene included a man who tried to save his neighbors—a father and his 5-year-old son—who had come in contact with a fence that was electrified by Read More

Give Safety A Shot When Preparing For Hunting

Flashlight
Hunters have their sights on wild game when preparing for hunting season. A few moments devoted to safety can help prevent an accident with utility equipment.  Safe Electricity urges hunters to take precautions and be aware of potential electrical hazards while hunting. Before leaving for a hunting trip, make sure that you have safety items to signal for help in case of an emergency. Always carry emergency supplies in the event of an accident.  A cell phone, whistle, and flashlight are necessary items to carry with you throughout a hunting trip. Note the location of power lines and other electrical equipment before you begin a hunt.  Be especially careful and observant in wooded areas where power lines are easy to overlook. Obey all signs or postings that advise electrical safety, especially when selecting the location for a tree stand.  Tree stands are the leading cause for hunting injuries.  If you are using a tree stand, make sure you read the Read More

Copper Theft: Gain A Buck, Lose A Life

Copper Thief
As the price of copper has increased, so have copper thefts. Copper theft is especially harmful because of the safety risks it creates. Thefts from electric utility property, such as substations and power poles, can cause fires, explosions, power outages, and electric shock. Copper theft is not a victimless crime. It is expensive to fix the damage done by copper thefts. Their actions have forced airport runways to temporarily shut down, required hospitals to run on generator power, created traffic problems when traffic lights did not have power, and caused deaths from fires and explosions. Copper theft is also dangerous for thieves themselves. Substations and power poles carry high levels of fatal electricity. Many copper thefts have been killed or seriously burned or injured while trying to steal from electric utilities. Safe Electricity has the following tips to empower you to help stop copper theft. Common targets for copper theft are construction sites, farming equipment, and electric utility property. If Read More

Tips To Staying Safe And Warm During Ice Storm Recovery

Ice Storm
Ice and snow from winter storms can bring down trees and power lines, causing power outages and creating electrical dangers. Safe Electricity wants everyone to know how to stay safe and warm after winter storms. If you must venture outside, be alert to the possibility of electrical hazards: Stay away from downed power lines and warn others to stay away. Be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. Treat all power lines as live and dangerous. Treat everything near power lines as dangerous. It can be difficult to stay warm without power. If you live with young children or the elderly, consider temporarily staying somewhere with power. If you are at a home with power, there are ways to stay warm: Stay inside and dress in warm, layered clothing. Close off unneeded rooms. When using an alternative heat source, follow operating instructions, use fire safeguards and be sure to properly ventilate. Stuff towels Read More

Weathering a Winter Storm

winter
Video Checklist Spanish version When ice and heavy snow bring down limbs and power lines, safety is a consideration indoors and out. Make sure you know how to weather the storm. When outside, stay away from downed power lines: A power line need not be sparking or arcing to be energized. Equipment near power lines can also be energized and dangerous. Lines that appear to be “dead” can become energized as crews work to restore power or sometimes from improper use of emergency generators. Assume all low and downed lines are energized and dangerous. If you see a downed or sagging line, contact your utility. Motorists should never drive over a downed line, as snagging a line could pull down a pole or other equipment and cause other hazards. Be careful approaching intersections where traffic or crossing lights may be out. If you plan to use a generator, know how to operate it safely Before a winter storm, have supplies on hand Read More