Lafayette Utilities System wants to aid in your safety during any season, especially hurricane season. Here are a few tips that you should remember in the event of a major storm or hurricane:
• Avoid loose or dangling power lines.
• Do not move any downed power lines.
• Do not drive your vehicle over downed power lines.
• If you see electrical system damage broken or frayed wires in your home, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box. Do not step into water to get to your fuse box. Contact an electrician.
• Check for wastewater or water line damage.
- Consider having a qualified, licensed electrician check outlets regularly for problems, including overheating, loose connections, reversed polarity, and corrosion.
- Check for outlets that have loose fitting plugs, which lead to arcing and fire.
- Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances. Never plug more than one high-wattage appliance in at a time in each.
- Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to children.
- Replace any missing or broken wall plates.
- Make sure all power cords and extension cords are in good condition, not frayed, cracked or cut. If the power cord to a lamp or appliance is damaged, take the item to an authorized service center, or dispose of the item safely.
- Never attempt to repair or splice a cut cord yourself.
- Do not coil power cords when in use.
- Do not place power cords in high traffic areas or under carpets, rugs or furniture.
- Power cords should never be nailed or stapled to the wall, baseboard, or another object.
- Make sure appliances are off before connecting cords to outlets.
- Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-prong outlet; this could lead to electrical shock.
- Never force a plug into an outlet. Plugs should fit securely into outlets, but should not require much force to fit.
- Make sure to full insert the plug into the outlet.
- Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis; they are not intended as permanent wiring.
- Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the appliance or tool being plugged into it.
Power Strips and Surge Suppressors
- Be sure you are not overloading the circuit. Know capacity of the circuit and the power requirements of all the electrical items plugged into the power strip and into all the other outlets on the circuit as well as the light fixtures on the circuit.
- Understand that a surge suppressor only protects the items plugged into it, not back along the circuit into which it is connected.
- Not all power strips are surge suppressors, not all surge suppressors can handle the same load and events. Be sure the equipment you buy matches your needs.
Check the wattage of all bulbs in lamps and light fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the lamp or fixture. Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended; if you don't know the correct wattage, check with the manufacturer. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely-loose bulbs may overheat.
Halogen Floor Lamps
Halogen floor lamps operate at much higher temperatures than a standard incandescent light bulb. Never place a halogen floor lamp where it could come in contact with draperies, clothing or other combustible materials. Be sure to turn the lamp off whenever you leave the room for an extended period of time and never use torchiere lamps in children's bedrooms or playrooms. Floor lamps that use cooler, more energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs are available.
Remember-Water and Electricity Don't Mix
Don't leave plugged-in appliances where they might come into contact with water. If a plugged-in appliance falls into the water, NEVER reach into pull it out-even if it's turned off. First turn off the power source at the panel board and then unplug the appliance. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, don't use it until it has been checked by a qualified repair person.
Electric-powered mowers and other tools should not be used in the rain, on wet grass, or in wet conditions. Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers before each use for frayed power cords, broken plugs, and cracked or broken housings. If damaged, stop using it immediately. Repair it or replace it. Be sure you have GFCI protection on all outdoor outlets; portable GFCIs are available from most hardware and home improvement stores. Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools. Remember to unplug all portable power tools when not in use. When using ladders, wood or metal, watch out for overhead wires and power lines.
Contact LUS at 337-291-5700 to report downed power lines.