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Winter Weather Storm Tips
MIAMI VALLEY -- Extremely low temperatures during the next few days may increase the demand for electricity and Dayton Power & Light says it has sufficient power to meet those needs.
Safety should always be the top priority, DP&L says, especially when dealing with electricity. Here are some important winter safety tips from DP&L that could save your life during an outage.
First, assume all fallen wires are live electrical wires and stay away from them. Report them to DP&L at 1-877-4OUTAGE and to your local police department. If the situation is life-threatening, call 911 first.
Second, be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. If you use portable generators, you must have proper ventilation NEVER in the garage or near a window where fumes could enter your home.
And finally, turn off all heat producing appliances, like the stove, during an outage, in case you are not home when power is restored. It could prevent a fire.
Here are some additional winter weather tips.
What to do before an outage
Be prepared with a storm kit containing an emergency radio (battery operated or wind-up), water, non-perishable food, flashlights and a first-aid kit. Learn what else you should include in your kit.
Have a plan for what you will do in the event of an extended power outage, especially if you or someone at your location relies on continuous operation of medical equipment. Visit http://www.ready.gov/, http://www.nod.org/ and http://www.redcross.org/ for assistance with emergency planning. You may also contact DP&Ls Customer Service Center at 800-433-8500. DP&L will note the medical equipment on your account; however, DP&L cannot guarantee priority restoration, and you need to have a back-up plan should an outage occur.
Plan for your pets as well, by protecting them from cold weather and making sure they have water that is not frozen. For outdoor pets, add straw or bedding to provide insulation. For extreme cold, bring pets inside or into a garage or outbuilding.
Clear rain gutters and cut away tree branches that could fall on structures or power lines during a winter storm.
Know how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts). Make sure fire extinguishers are on hand and everyone in the family knows where to find them and how to use them.
What to do during an outage
Report your outage by calling 877-4-OUTAGE (877-468-8243). You will be asked for your account number or the phone number associated with your account to report your outage.
Never touch a power line. Report fallen wires to DP&L by calling 877-4-OUTAGE (877-468-8243). If you feel the situation is an immediate, life-threatening emergency, call 911 first. Also, if a line is down in or near your yard, keep people and pets away from it.
If a power line falls across your car, stay inside the car. If you MUST get out of the car because of a fire or a life-threatening emergency, jump clear of the car and make sure no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Safety Inspection Service, a refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed). More food safety tips.
Never use a generator inside your home, on a porch or in a garage or basement. Follow the manufacturers instructions carefully along with these generator safety tips. A new device is available that can help you safely connect your generator to your home.
Gas and wood-burning fireplaces both emit carbon monoxide, an odorless gas. Make sure you have a functioning carbon monoxide detector in your home. Use caution when starting a fire in your home.
Electronics and heat-producing appliances
Turn off all heat-producing appliances or disconnect them from a source of electricity to prevent fires when the power is restored. More outage tips.
For the safety of our crews and for your own safety, please stay away from utility crews and do not approach their work area or their vehicles.
Minimize driving during a winter storm. If you have to drive, keep an emergency supply kit, including extra clothing and blankets, sand for traction, a small shovel, a first aid kit and flares in the car. Follow common sense tips for the road conditions. Slow down. Allow extra space between you and other traffic. Stay a car length back from snow plows. Be aware that overpasses and bridges may be more slippery than roadways. Leave a little early and allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
What to do after an outage
Restock your storm kit. Reset your clocks and other electronic equipment like your microwave. Check trees in your yard for any branches damaged by ice and contact a tree trimmer to avoid future problems.
Before the next winter storm, winterize your home by insulating walls, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic sheeting to keep out the cold air. Insulate pipes to avoid freezing.
Inspect and maintain your heating equipment, chimney and roof every year.
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