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With high winds SCE offers safety tips, online sources to check outages

December 28, 2011
Santa Paula News

With the nation’s weather patterns reaching the extreme, extreme swings between temperatures are also becoming the norm in California and high wind incidents more common.

And with more strength from the Santa Ana winds, Southern California Edison (SCE) is reminding customers what outages may occur during high wind events, and never to approach or touch downed power lines. 

In the days leading up to Christmas, gusts of up to 50 mph were forecast including in the valley areas of Ventura County. A wildfire that broke out between Santa Paula and Ventura was a reminder of the dangers of high winds, as well as the potential for power line damage. SCE will provide information about any outages at www.sce.com, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/SoCalEdison and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SoCalEdison.

According to a SCE statement, customer safety is a top priority and “If you see a downed or dangling wire - even if it appears not to be live - don’t touch or approach it and call 911 immediately.” SCE also offered some important tips to keep in mind during power outages: 

Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops, as the law requires.

Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they are fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage; do not use candles because they may pose a significant fire hazard.

Do not use any equipment inside that is designed for outdoor heating or outdoor cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases and can be fatal.

If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into the generator, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.

Report any trees or structures that look unstable to city authorities. If it looks like a collapse could be imminent, call 911.

Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. Place blocks of ice inside to help keep food cold. Check food carefully for signs of spoilage. 

Check on your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe.

A video and fact sheet about power line safety is available at www.sce.com/powerlines. The information is available in Spanish at www.sce.com/cables.