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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow Predicted - Power Outages Are a Possibility - Be Prepared

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

The National Weather Service is predicting accumulating snow this afternoon in Prince George’s County. Snow will arrive this afternoon and is expected to fall and accumulate quickly during the evening hours. The snow is expected to be of a heavy and wet texture, meaning, the weight of the snow accumulating on trees and overhead utility lines could result in power outages. The men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department want you to remember Safety First!!!

Stay away from any downed power line – treat every downed line as if were energized and notify 911. Avoid unnecessary travel and make plans to stay at home tonight.  While you are indoors, test your smoke alarm and ensure it is working, if not, replace the battery and test again.  If it still fails to work, call 301-864-SAFE (7233) to arrange for a new smoke alarm installed in your home.

Top Safety Tips for a Power Outage

• Use a battery powered flashlight for emergency lighting.

• Never use candles for illumination.

• Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.

• Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer.

• Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.

• Ensure you have fresh batteries in your radio and be prepared to stay informed if a power outage occurs.

• Before a power outage occurs - Listen to local radio and television for updated information.

Safety First – Stay Informed – Stay Ready – Stay Safe

Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they are
prolonged due to Mother Nature.

The Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department wants you to know the following when handling generators in the case of a power outage.

Using Portable Generators Safely

• The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use.

• Under no circumstances should portable generators be used indoors, including inside a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace, or other enclosed or partially-enclosed area, even with ventilation.

• Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

• Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can.

• Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

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