FirstEnergy is urging its customers to begin preparations for sustained sub-zero temperatures and wind chills.
Some common-sense cold weather tips include:
• Make sure your home is properly insulated to preserve heat. Inspect doors and windows and apply caulk or weather-stripping where necessary to keep cold air out. Close drapes, blinds and garage doors to retain heat and keep cold air out.
• Keep extra blankets or sleeping bags for each person inside your home. Dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.
• Use a sturdy fireplace screen when utilizing a fireplace or wood burning stove.
• Never use a gas stove, charcoal grill or lantern intended for outdoor use inside your home as deadly carbon monoxide gas could build up.
• Maintain a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food. Convenience foods that do not require cooking are good to have on hand.
• Avoid frozen pipes by opening faucets and maintaining a constant drip, or wrap pipes in insulation or layers of newspapers.
• Use care when burning candles, especially around children or pets; open flames are a dangerous fire hazard.
• Charge electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops and tablet computers.
• Keep a flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries handy in the event a power interruption occurs.
• Never use a portable generator inside the house or a closed garage in the event of a power outage. Ensure the proper generator is selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
If an outage occurs as a result of the severe weather, customers should call 1-888- LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com via smartphone. In the event of severe weather, customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity.
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