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posted: 7/5/2012 8:26 AM

Bartlett fire district offers storm safety tips

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  • Crews clear downed power lines after a recent storms in Bartlett.

    Crews clear downed power lines after a recent storms in Bartlett.
    Courtesy Bartlett Fire Protection District

Submitted by Bartlett Fire Protection District

With the severe weather that has moved through the area recently and the anticipation that there may be future severe weather, the Bartlett Fire Protection District would like to provide residents with some safety related information on downed power lines and the safe use of portable generators.

It is not uncommon for trees to fall during high winds, rain or other stormy conditions that can damage overhead power lines. In the event of a downed power line:

• Call 9-1-1 immediately to report a downed power line.

• Consider all downed power lines to be energized.

• Stay clear of the area and do not touch any objects like a fence or car that are in contact with a power line.

• Do not drive over a power line in the street or walk under power lines that have been damaged.

Portable generators are useful when temporary electric power is needed, but they can be hazardous. The primary hazards associated with portable generator use are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire. When using a portable generator, follow these important safety steps:

• Always use generators outdoors and away from windows, doors and vents.

• Never use portable generators inside homes, garages, crawl spaces, basements or other enclosed spaces.

• Follow all manufacturers' instructions.

• Check your carbon monoxide (CO) detector to make sure it is the type that has a battery backup or is battery operated so that it is functional even when the power is out.

• Keep the generator dry and dry your hands before touching the generator.

• Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy duty outdoor rated extension cord.

• Never plug a generator into a wall outlet. This practice is known as backfeeding and can cause an electrocution risk.

• Before refueling a generator, turn it off and make sure it is cool. Spilled fuel on a hot engine can ignite.

• Always store fuel outside of living areas in a properly labeled, non-glass container.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Bartlett Fire Protection District at (630) 837-3701.

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