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Power outage safety tips

What to do when the lights go out

If your lights go off suddenly, there are three probable causes:

1. There is a problem on the DREMC lines.
2. The transformer serving you has tripped.
3. Your main fuse or circuit breaker has opened, or you have internal wiring problems.

Before calling DREMC to report an outage, first try to determine if the problem is in your house. If we send a serviceman out, and the trouble is on your side of the meter such as a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, we must charge you for the trip. Check to see if your neighbors’ lights or street or security lights are still on. If so, check your main electrical panel fuses or circuit breakers.

If you have circuit breakers:
1. Flip the main breaker handle to the OFF position, then back ON
2. If none of your lights or appliances work, call your local DREMC office at the number listed on the contact sheet included in this packet of information.
3. If only part of your lights are off, check branch circuit breakers by switching them OFF, then ON.

If you have fuses:
1. Buy the proper size fuses for main and branch circuits in your home, and keep replacement fuses on hand for emergencies.
2. Pull out the main fuse block and replace, trying them one at a time. You generally cannot tell if a cartridge fuse is blown by simply looking at it.

If you are satisfied the trouble is on DREMC lines and not in your house, call your local DREMC office. If you observe flashes along the line, trees down in the wires, wrecks, etc., please report these details when calling to help speed power restoration in your area. If a power outage is widespread, our phones may be busy. Please be patient, and call again. Give your name, member account number, street address and phone number.

Do not call 911 unless there is a life-threatening emergency.

To keep you and your family safe while your power is out, please follow these safety tips:

• Stay away from all downed power lines or sparking equipment, and keep children and pets away from fallen lines and anything the lines may touch.
• Never remove debris that’s within 10 feet of a power line.
• Unplug major appliances to protect them when the power is restored.
• Leave a light turned on so you know when power is restored.
• Refuel heaters, lamps, and generators outside, and stay away from any flames or sparks. Wipe up fuel spills immediately.
• Let Duck River EMC know if you’re using a generator – this protects you and our line workers as they work to restore power. For generator safety tips, please see the reverse side.
• Never operate lanterns, heaters or fuel-fired stoves without proper ventilation.
• Never burn charcoal indoors. It releases poisonous carbon monoxide.
• Do not let children carry candles or oil lamps.