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Pepco Urges Citizens to Stay Safe after Severe Storms

Avoid the Many Hazards that Exist

Pepco reminds customers to put safety first as the region recovers from Wednesday's destructive thunderstorms. Homeowners eager to clear storm debris from their property should use extreme caution and care when extending ladders or using cutting tools to remove downed trees or trim branches. Be aware at all times of the location of power lines to avoid serious electrical burns or electrocution. They should also use care when utilizing portable generators including ensuring that the generators are properly installed by a licensed electrical contractor.

Stay Alert for Downed Lines

  • If you see a downed power line, let Pepco know immediately by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662).
  • Stay away from any downed line. Assume it's energized and dangerous, and warn children to stay away and notify an adult. Downed lines do not always spark, burn or arc. Always assume any downed wire can be harmful. Objects such as metal fences and water in contact with power lines could be energized and lethal. Stay away.
  • Remember, electricity and water is a dangerous combination. Even wading in a shallow puddle or flooded basement that is exposed to an energized line could lead to harmful or fatal electrical contact.

Use Caution with Portable Generators

· The improper use of portable generators can have deadly consequences. Carbon monoxide, a by-product of portable generators, is deadly. It is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non-irritating, making it difficult for people to detect. Always operate generators outside, away from doors and windows, to avoid inhaling lethal carbon monoxide gas. This also applies to barbecue grills.

  • For your safety and the safety of Pepco employees working to restore power, do not connect your generator directly into your home's main fuse box or circuit panel.

Improperly connected generators can feed electricity back into the electrical system, endangering field personnel working to restore your power. Consult a licensed electrical contractor if a permanent generator installation is desired.

Protect Your Home and Belongings

  • If you're without power, turn off all appliances, including your furnace, air conditioner, water heater and water pump. That way, you can avoid a circuit overload and another outage that may result when power is restored to all appliances at once.
  • Leave one lamp on so you'll know that the power has been restored.

Avoid Using Candles for Illumination

· Never leave children or pets unattended near lit candles.

Protect Your Food

  • Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed; open them only when absolutely necessary. Food will stay frozen for 36-48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if you keep the door closed.
  • A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.

For more safety and emergency preparedness tips, log onto the Pepco Storm Center, www.pepco.com.

Keeping Cool in Hot Weather

· Close curtains and blinds to keep out the sun and keep cooler air inside the home or business.

· Drink plenty of water.

· Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

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Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 750,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

© Potomac Electric Power Company, 2019. All Rights Reserved.