fpl.jpgFlorida Power & Light Company (FPL) has issued a call to Floridians to be prepared and be aware of potential electrical hazards, especially during hurricane season.

Here are tips the power company offers to keep you and your family safe before, during and after a severe storm. 

Before a Storm Threatens

• Have your trees trimmed so they do not pose a risk to your home during a storm. Never attempt to trim any vegetation growing near any overhead power lines. Only specially trained line-clearing professionals should work around power lines.
• Make sure debris around the home is cleared prior to a hurricane warning announcement, keeping in mind that trash pickup may be suspended during hurricane warnings.
•  If someone in the home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining medical equipment, review your family emergency plan for back-up power or make arrangements to relocate when a hurricane warning is issued.

Preparing for an Approaching Storm

• Before lowering a TV antenna or satellite dish, make sure to turn off and unplug the TV and avoid power lines.

• Turn off all swimming pool pumps and filters and wrap them in waterproof materials.

• Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings to keep food fresh longer in the event of a power outage.

• Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment.

• When working on a ladder, look up and note the location of power lines before you begin. Be sure that ladders or scaffolds are far enough away so that you – and the ends of the tools you’re using – don’t come within 10 feet of power lines.

Portable Generator Tips

• Always read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly to avoid dangerous shortcuts and ensure the safe operation of your generator.

• Never run generators inside your home or garage, as they produce potentially deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

• To prevent deadly exhaust from entering a home or business, keep generators away from all open windows, including neighbors’ windows.

Buy a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm, which will alert you if carbon monoxide levels become dangerous.

• Never connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring. Electricity from a generator connected to a home's wiring may flow back into power lines and cause serious injuries or death.

After the storm
Here are guidelines from FPL to help you and your family avoid injury after a storm passes.

• Be aware that standing water and debris may conceal a live wire and stay away.

• Don’t venture out in the dark, because you could encounter a dangerous downed power line.

• Watch for, and report, downed power lines. Call 911 or FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE to report fallen lines. Always assume that every cable or wire is energized.  Do not touch.