DP&L offers Tips to Stay Safe During Winter Storms | Environment
DAYTON, OH - Now that the Miami Valley has had its first real blast of winter with more on the way, Dayton Power and Light (DP&L), which provides power in northeastern Warren County, has several winter weather precautions residents can take to be prepared, many of which apply to everyone. 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:
Items you should always have on hand in case you experience an outage.
•Emergency radio (battery operated or wind-up)
•Corded phone and cell phone
•List of important phone numbers (DP&L Outage Hotline: 877-468-8243)
•Containers of water or bottled water
•Non-perishable foods (canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants)
•Non-electric can opener
•Clock (battery operated or wind-up)
•Flashlights with batteries (one for every family member)
•Coats, hats and gloves
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 to DP&L 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).
Ways to keep your food safe during a power outage or weather emergency.
Steps to Follow to Prepare for a Possible Weather Emergency:
•Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. The freezer should be at 0°F (Fahrenheit) or below and the refrigerator should be at 40°F or below.
•Freeze containers of water for ice, purchase or make ice cubes and freeze gel packs ahead of time to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers after the power is out.
•Know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.
•Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately and group food together in the freezer – this helps the food stay cold longer.
•Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours.
•Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
Steps to Follow During and After the Weather Emergency:
Keep Food Cold
•Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
•The 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).
•Obtain block ice or dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot full freezer for 2 days.
Check If It's Safe to Eat or Drink
•Never taste food to determine its safety. When in Doubt, Throw it Out!
•If the power has been out for several days, then check the temperature of the freezer with an appliance thermometer or food thermometer. If the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40°F or below, it should be safe to refreeze and/or consume.
•Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli items after 4 hours without power.
•Drink only bottled water if flooding has occurred.
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.
Provide ample ventilation and ensure plenty of distance from your home or office building when using generators.
Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use. Follow these tips from the American Red Cross to stay comfortable and safe during a power outage.
Purchasing a Generator
•Look at the labels on equipment you plan to connect to the generator to determine the amount of power that will be needed to operate the equipment.
•Choose a generator that produces more power than will be drawn by the combination of equipment you plan to connect to it including the initial surge when the equipment is turned on. If you cannot determine the amount of power that will be needed, ask an electrician for help.
•For power outages, permanently installed stationary generators are better suited for providing backup power to your location. Even a properly connected portable generator can become overloaded, which could lead to a generator failure.
Installing a Generator
•The only recommended method to connect a generator to building wiring is by having a qualified electrician install a power transfer switch. Call a qualified electrician for assistance.
•Never try to power your building by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to you, our workers and your neighbors.
•Under no circumstances should portable generators be used indoors, including inside a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace, or other enclosed or partially-enclosed area, even with ventilation.
Using a Generator
•Follow the directions supplied with your generator.
•You can die from odorless carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning while using a generator. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air right away. Install battery-operated CO alarms to warn you of dangerous CO levels.
•Keep the generator dry to avoid electrocution.
•Turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
•Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can away from living areas in a locked shed or other protected area. Do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance.
•Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected equipment loads.
A new device is available that can help you more safely connect your generator to your home.
Safely Connect Your Generator to Your Home
We can help you use your portable generator simply and safely.
We know how important electricity is to you. And we want to make it easy for you to power critical appliances such as your furnace, heat pump and refrigerator if you lose power. That’s why DP&L is working with GenerLink™ to make its generator set-up available to our residential customers so you can easily use your generator if the power goes out.
Safely Connect Without Rewiring
GenerLink is a small device that can be attached to your electric meter to make connecting a portable generator easy and safe, and it allows you to use your portable generator to operate critical appliances in your home.
Some methods of connecting your portable generator to your home can present a safety hazard to your family and to the DP&L workers trying to restore your power. GenerLink gets rid of the hassles and dangers of running multiple extension cords, as well as the potentially significant cost of hiring an electrician to install a transfer switch.
You will not be charged by DP&L for the power used when your generator is running your house. And when the power is restored, the GenerLink device will switch back to DP&L-supplied power once you turn off and disconnect your generator.
Learn more about the product.
•Your home or small business must have a single phase service of 200 amps or less (this is what is standard in homes). The product is not available for higher usage customers, such as large businesses.
•You must have a modern electric meter installed at your home. If your meter is not eligible, you can pay an electrician to update your meter installation.
How to Get a GenerLink Connection
1. Purchase your device from GenerLink.
•You will need to purchase a generator separately; the GenerLink product does not include a generator. Check with GenerLink to ensure your generator is compatible with the device. DP&L does not sell the GenerLink device.
•GenerLink offers different cord lengths. Make sure you select a cord long enough to operate your generator at a safe distance from your home.
2. Sign the DP&L installation agreement and return it to us with $100 to pay for the installation. Your check should be made payable to The Dayton Power & Light Co. (For safety reasons, DP&L must install the GenerLink device.)
3. GenerLink will ship your device to us along with your contact information, and we will call you to set up an installation time.
•To make sure your device is safely installed, a DP&L representative will come to your home to make the connection. Installation can be done in a matter of minutes.
•An adult must be present for the installation.
•A brief power disruption will be necessary to complete the installation
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 home.
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.
During an Outage
Tips for weathering the storm during a power outage.
Report an Outage: Call 877-4Outage (877-468-8243)
Never Touch a Power Line
If you see a fallen or sagging power line, or a line that is in contact with tree branches or other foliage, assume it is live and dangerous. Report fallen wires to DP&L by calling 877-468-8243. If there is a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately.
If there is a fire, get to a safe place and call 911. The fire department will respond to the emergency and contact DP&L, if necessary.
Give Customer Service the Best Number to Reach You
After DP&L has restored service to your area, we will attempt to confirm your power has been restored if you reported the outage. To ensure you receive this phone call, check to make sure customer service (800-433-8500) has the best phone number to reach you. If your service has not been restored, you will have an opportunity to report the continued outage, letting DP&L know you have a problem with your individual service.
Be Careful Using Candles, Portable Heaters and Generators and Your Fireplace
Avoid using candles if possible. Flashlights are a safer alternative. If you do use candles, be sure to place them on a stable surface away from combustible materials, and be careful around children and pets. Never leave burning candles unattended.
Portable Heaters and Generators
When using portable heaters and generators, follow all manufacturers' instructions and think safety first. One of the most important precautions is to ensure that you have proper ventilation for this type of equipment. Keep generators far from your home (your porch is too close). More generator safety tips.
Install a Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Do not use a kerosene heater or gas logs for heat unless you have a working carbon monoxide alarm.
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 anytime you burn anything in your home and make sure that the area is well-ventilated and monitored for carbon monoxide.
Keep the Refrigerator Closed
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the 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.
Go through your home when the power goes out and make sure that all heat-producing appliances (ovens, ranges, toasters, curling irons, etc.) are turned off or disconnected from a source of electricity so that when power is restored your home is safe from accidental fires.
A good practice is to always ensure there are no papers or other flammable materials on top of your electric range, in case it is accidentally turned on.
Know What You're Responsible For
At a typical residential customer's location, there is a service line that connects to the home through a masthead, service entrance cable and meter box. See what you are responsible for maintaining.
Allow Utility Crews to Focus on Restoration
When a utility crew arrives in a neighborhood, it's not uncommon for people to be interested in the work that they're doing or want to talk to the crew members about the status of restoration. These crews are dealing with extremely hazardous conditions and they need to focus all of their skill and knowledge to stay safe. They go through years of training and use special equipment to minimize the chance that they will get hurt while doing their job. 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.
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.
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