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News Release
What you should Do When The Power is Out
December 24, 2008 (2008-030)
Contacts:  Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, Ore.  The winter storm has created hardships for many Oregon households. The Oregon Public Utility Commission has the following suggestions to be safe.
  • Electricity is invisible — lines don’t have to spark or sizzle to carry electricity. Even if the line looks insulated (like cables or phone lines), always assume that downed lines are live and extremely dangerous. Never touch downed lines with your body or any objects. Be sure to keep kids and pets away. If a power line falls across your car when you are in it, stay in it until emergency help arrives to assist you.
  • Never plug a home generator into an electrical outlet. It can ruin your electrical system and start a fire. It can also feed electricity back into a power line and possibly injure or kill utility workers.
  • Turn on one light inside your house along with a porch light. When these lights come on, you’ll know your power is back on, and utility crews working in your neighborhood will have visual confirmation.
  • If your neighbors’ power comes back on but yours does not,call your utility.
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio for updates on major outages.
  • Keep warm by wearing loose layers of clothing to trap body heat. Wear a hat, even while sleeping. Keep moving to generate heat.
  • Check on your neighbors to make sure they’re safe and warm. This is particularly important if your neighbors are elderly or disabled.
  • If using a fireplace or candles during an outage, be sure to have a fire extinguisher, salt, baking soda and heavy blankets handy should a fire break out.
  • Never use kerosene heaters indoors without proper ventilation. They create harmful fumes.
  • Also remember to neveruse charcoal briquettes indoors. They produce deadly carbon monoxide.