DP&L’s Tips to Stay Safe During Winter Storms
DAYTON, Ohio — January 21, 2013 — With the Miami Valley expecting below zero wind chill temperatures, Dayton Power and Light (DP&L) has several winter weather precautions residents can take to be prepared. While DP&L works all year to strengthen the electrical delivery system, Mother Nature can still cause outages. The most damaging winter weather is freezing rain and high winds, which can take down trees and power lines.
In any emergency, safety should always be the top priority, especially when dealing with electricity.
First, assume all fallen wires are live electrical wires and stay away from them. Second, be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. Also, all supplemental sources of heat and portable generators must have proper ventilation. Never place a generator in the garage or near a window where fumes could enter the home. And finally, turn off all heat producing appliances, like the stove, if you experience an outage, in case you are not home when power is restored.
Here are some additional tips that you can use to plan ahead.
What to do before an outage
Have a storm kit with 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 www.ready.gov, www.nod.org and www.redcross.org for assistance with emergency planning. You may also contact DP&L’s Customer Service Center at 800-433-8500. We will note the medical equipment on your account; however, DP&L cannot guarantee priority restoration, and you need to be prepared with a back-up plan should an outage occur.
Plan for your pets as well. Your cat or dog should be protected from cold weather and have access to water. For outdoor pets, add straw or bedding to provide insulation. For extreme cold, bring pets inside or into a garage or outbuilding.
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. Walk your dog on a leash far from the line until the power line is repaired.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Safety Inspection Service, a refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 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 or in a garage or basement. Place it away from your home or building and far away from porches, windows or other areas where the exhaust could enter your home. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully along with these generator safety tips. A new device is available that can help you more safely connect your generator to your home.
Gas and wood-burning fireplaces both emit carbon monoxide. Make sure you have a functioning carbon
monoxide detector in your home to detect the odorless gas. Use caution when burning anything in your
Electronics and heat-producing appliances
When the power goes out, 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.
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.