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MADISON — Wisconsin summer storms can strike quickly and bring a host of dangerous situations. Lightening, downed power lines, and floods are just a few serious safety concerns. Unfortunately, many electrical safety hazards remain long after the storm has passed.
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin reminds citizens to take necessary precautions and remember the following safeguards when it comes to electrical safety and power outages:
Downed Power Lines
• Stay away from downed or sagging power lines, and do not touch anything that is on or near a power line (i.e., trees or tree limbs, cars, ladders). Assume all power lines are dangerous and energized. If you see a downed line, call 911 to report its location and then call your electric provider. During and after a storm, be cautious of flooded areas and downed trees, as these areas could be hiding an energized power line.
• Do not drive over downed power lines.
Reporting an Outage
• Before calling your electric provider to report an outage, check to see if other neighbors are affected. If only your residence is without power, check circuit breakers and/or fuse boxes to see if the problem is limited to the home electric system. Then call your local utility.
• “Report an Outage” lines at Wisconsin’s largest utilities are: Alliant Energy: 1-800-255-4268; MG&E: 1-800-245-1123; We Energies: 1-800-662-4797; Wisconsin Public Service Corporation: 1-800-450-7240; Xcel Energy: 1-800-895-1999. Remember to be patient as phone lines may become very busy during major storms.
• If you anticipate an extended outage, consider moving yourself and your family-especially those with special needs-to an alternate location.
Safety Tips for Power Outages
• Have battery-operated flashlights and radios with fresh batteries ready. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
• Customers with generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to utility crews during restoration. Remember to never operate a generator indoors or even in a partially enclosed area.
• Unplug or turn off as many electric appliances as soon as possible to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.