PUC Offers Storm Safety Tips;
Reminds Residents to Report Outages and Consider Safety
HARRISBURG The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) offered safety
tips to residents as Winter Storm Riley continues to move across the state.
High-resolution video of storm safety tips from PUC Chairman Gladys Brown,
along with a short winter heating video, are available by using the following
Should you lose power during a storm, consider the following:
- Call your utility hotline to
report outages - Do not assume that the utility already knows about your
outage or that others have already called.
- Do NOT touch or approach any
- Stay away from objects or
puddles in contact with downed power lines.
- Do NOT try to remove trees or
limbs from power lines.
- Use a phone that does not
require electricity, such as a cellular phone or corded phone. Cordless
phones won't work without electricity.
- Do NOT call 9-1-1 to report
power outages. Those calls take dispatchers away from other emergencies
and can also slow a storm response because you're not talking directly to
- SPECIAL NOTE: If you have a
downed power line or another hazardous situation, call 9-1-1 and then
contact your utility.
The PUC offered additional tips to help stay safe until power is restored:
- Use flashlights or
battery-operated lanterns for emergency lighting. Do not use candles or
other potential fire hazards.
- If you use a generator, do
NOT run it inside a home or garage. Also, connect the equipment you want
to power directly to the outlets on the generator, not your home's
electrical system, which could shock or injure utility crews working on
nearby power lines. Additional generator
tips are available here.
- Turn off lights and
electrical appliances (except for the refrigerator and freezer). When power
comes back on, it may come back with momentary "surges" or
"spikes" that can damage equipment.
- After you turn the lights
off, turn one lamp on so you will know when power is restored. Wait at
least 15 minutes after power is restored before turning on other
- Check on elderly neighbors
and those with special needs who might need additional assistance.
The PUC noted that consumers using natural gas appliances can also be
impacted by storms:
- Electric power outages can
affect gas furnaces and other appliances. If they do not function properly
when power is restored call a professional for service.
- If you smell natural gas, get
everyone out of the building immediately. Leave the door open and do NOT
use phones, switch lights or turn appliances on or off, or take any other
action while inside the building. After you are safely outside, call 9-1-1
from your cell phone or neighbor's home.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers
and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates;
protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and
informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new
technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more
information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.pa.gov. Follow the PUC on Twitter "
@PA_PUC for all things utility. "Like" Pennsylvania Public Utility
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Press Secretary, PA Public Utility Commission
email@example.com / 717-418-2701