Be prepared: summer storm safety

Summer storm safety. Image of lightning.

Wake Electric encourages members to practice caution and safety during summer storms, which at times can be severe. Beware of flooded areas caused by heavy rains — water and electricity do not mix! Below is safety advice to use following a summer storm:

Flooded areas: Be careful when attempting to walk in flooded areas and remember that submerged outlets or electrical cords could energize the water.

Wet electrical equipment: Do not use electrical appliances that have been wet. Water can damage the motors in electrical appliances, such as furnaces, freezers, refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers. Electrical parts can pose a shock hazard or overheat and cause a fire.

Portable generators: Take special care with portable electric generators, which can provide a good source of power, but if improperly installed or operated, can become deadly. Do not connect generators directly to household wiring. Power from generators can back-feed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including line workers making repairs. A qualified, licensed electrician should install your generator to ensure that it meets local electrical codes. For more information, visit wemc.com/storm-preparation-outages.

More tips:

• Make sure your generator is properly grounded.

• Keep the generator dry.

• Make sure extension cords used with generators are rated for the load, free of cuts and worn insulation, and have three-pronged plugs.

• Do not overload the generator.

• Do not operate the generator in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly, which can be deadly.

• Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. Portable GFCIs require no tools to install and are available at prices ranging from $12 to $30.

Source: ESFI and NRECA

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