Hurricane season runs nationally from June to November, which can lead to property damage, power outages, and more. When it comes to electricity safety during storms, Duke Energy offers the following precautions to follow if the power goes out.
Safety around power lines
- Consider all downed power lines and anything touching them energized and HAZARDOUS. Do not go near them.
- Report all power line hazards to your local emergency services department or agency.
- Stay away from downed or sagging power lines, and do not touch anything that is on or near a power line (i.e., trees or tree limbs, cars, ladders).
- Keep children and family pets away from areas where lines may have fallen (backyards, fields, school yards, etc.).
- If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
- Please watch for utility crews and turn the generator off when crews are in your area. The electrical load on the power lines can be hazardous for crews making repairs.
- Operate your generator outside. Never operate it inside a building or garage.
- Always follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure safe and proper operation.
- Always have a licensed electrician install stationary or standby emergency generators.
- To avoid electrocution, plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load. This is the safest way to use a generator. Duke Energy does not recommend connecting a generator directly to a breaker panel, fuse box or meter box because of the hazard it can create for utility lineworkers.
- Obey all local, state and national electrical and fire codes.
- Store gasoline in approved fuel containers and out of children's reach.
- Keep children away from generators.
- Have a fully charged, properly rated fire extinguisher (i.e., rated for electrical and gas fires) ready at all times.
- Never replenish fuel in a generator when it is running.
- Call an electrician to repair a generator. Never attempt to repair it yourself.
Flooding and electrical safety
- If rising water threatens your home – or if you evacuate your home – turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box.
- Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Don't drive over – and don't stand near – downed power lines.
- Never replace a fuse or touch a circuit breaker with wet hands or while standing on a wet or damp surface.
Source: Duke Energy