CHARLESTON – Appalachian Power recently released information to help the public remain safe during ongoing restoration of electric service.
Downed Power Lines
Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line. All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. And don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water, since they can conduct electricity. Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard. Call Appalachian Power to report any downed lines or equipment.
If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators “back feed” electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator.
Damaged Service Entrance
Appalachian Power cannot connect power to any home or business where there is damage to the service entrance. The service entrance is the area located 1) at the meter, 2) between the meter and the home’s electrical panel, or 3) the location where the cable connects to the home/business owner’s cable. Customers need to have a qualified electrician repair this damage before power can be restored to the home or business.
Life Support/Health Concerns
In the event of a major power interruption, life-support customers are encouraged to contact Appalachian Power’s toll-free customer service number to advise our representatives of their situation. Due to the nature of restoration activity, Appalachian cannot assure priority restoration for life-support customers. Life-support customers are advised to take precautionary measures to protect themselves in the event of a power loss. Contact relatives or friends for assistance or temporary accommodations in the event of a prolonged outage. Keep emergency phone numbers (physicians, hospitals, safety services, utilities) posted near your telephone.
Interrupting Service Personnel
Residents without power are asked not to stop crew trucks as this will only slow down repairs. Appalachian Power asks for your patience and understanding during the restoration process. In many areas, crews must rebuild significant portions of electric facilities to restore power.
Outages During Very Cold or Hot Weather
Appalachian Power asks customers affected by power outages, including those who must leave their homes, to turn off all lights and appliances, including heating or air conditioning systems. During periods of extremely hot or cold weather, multiple heating or air conditioning units all turning on at exactly the same moment can cause an overload situation, possibly causing power to go out again. Customers should be extra cautious in making sure nothing is left cooking on kitchen ranges. One light can be left on, so customers will know when power is restored.