Knowing what to do can save a life.
Power Outages: What to do
Check the source
Try resetting your circuit breakers to see if the problem is a short circuit in your home's electrical system. If other homes in your neighborhood are dark, it’s probably a power outage.
Check our outage map for more information and updates, like when power is expected to be restored.
Report the outage
You’ll want to have your account number ready. (It’s located on the top left portion of your bill.) That helps us know where the power outage is.
If you don't have a bill handy, you can provide the address of the location experiencing the outage.
Turn off your lights and appliances
Your computer. Your TV. Your dishwasher. Turning off all electronic appliances helps protect them from voltage fluctuations when power returns. It also helps prevent a circuit overload.
After power is restored, wait at least one minute before turning everything back on.
Sign up for outage alerts
Get real-time updates about area outages via text or email when you sign up for outage alerts.
Electrical Shock: What to do
When outlets go uncovered, electrical wires become frayed or cords get damaged, contact with electricity can happen. And it can be fatal.
How to prevent electrical shock in your home
- If you have young children, cover all of your home’s outlets with socket guards.
- Check your home’s electrical outlets and cords for damage. Replace any that show signs of wear.
- Only use extension cords listed by a recognized certification organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories (they will have "UL listed" in their product description).
- Never drape electrical cords or wires over radiators, pipes or other metal objects.
- Keep electrical appliances away from water (sinks, showers, bathtubs, etc.).
- Always use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) when working with electrical tools near water.
What to do if someone touches a live electrical wire
- Don’t touch them directly. If you see someone come into contact with electricity, do not touch them directly. You could also get shocked.
- Shut off the power, if possible. If you're close to your home's circuit breaker, turn off power to that part of the house.
- Separate them from the source. If you’re not able to shut off the power immediately, use a non-conductor (like a rope or a wooden broom handle) to separate the person from the current.
- Call for help. Once you’ve turned the power off or separated the person from the current, call 911 for help.
Electrical Fires: What to do
Never use water on an electrical fire. Instead, use baking soda or a multipurpose or dry chemical fire extinguisher. Try unplugging the item or cutting power at the control panel if you can. Then call 911 right away.
How to prevent electrical fires
- Test your breaker panels. Make sure they’re labeled correctly and that you’re able to shut off power quickly if you need to.
- Inspect your outlets. Keep flammable materials away from outlets, especially ones in use.
- Know the limits of your power strip. If you’re using a power strip, be sure not to overload the strip or connect multiple strips together.
- Invest in surge protectors. Using surge protectors can help protect your electronics from overheating after a power surge.