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  Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative  
  "Together We Have The Power To Make  A Difference

Winter Weather Precautions

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Ron Campbell
Safety Director

Safety tips for portable space heaters
• Keep drapes, newspapers, clothing and other combustibles a safe distance away.
• Plug portable space heaters directly into the outlet. Do not use extension cords or 3-in-1 adapters.
• Always put heaters where they can’t be tipped over easily.
• Do not use heaters in wet, moist areas, such as bathrooms unless they are specifically built for that purpose.
• Make sure that the plug of the heater fits snugly in the outlet. A worn out outlet can overheat.This can cause a fire.
• Do not run cords under rugs or carpet. Doing so can cause the cord to overheat and start a fire.
• Broken heaters should be checked and repaired by a qualified appliance service center.
• Don’t use space heaters in rooms where children are unsupervised. Children may stick their fingers or other objects through the protective guards, causing burns or shock.
• Turn off space heaters and unplug when not in use.

Reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
• Have your chimney inspected by a professional every year.
• Be sure to open the damper for proper ventilation when using your fireplace.
• Make sure appliances are installed and operated according to the manufacturer’s instructions and applicable codes.
• Fuel-burning heating appliances should be inspected and serviced by a certified professional every year.
• Never use your oven, range, stovetop or clothes dryer to heat your home.
• Never use barbecue grills (gas or charcoal) inside your home or garage.
• Only use portable generators outside in well-vented areas away from windows and doors.
• Never use a portable generator in any part of your home.
• If you will be using a portable generator outside your home, be sure to install battery-operated carbon monoxide (CO) alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery backup inside the home.
• Only use battery-powered lights in tents and recreational vehicles like trailers, motor homes and boats.
• Never use fuel-burning camping equipment inside an enclosed space.
• Keep dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace vents clear of snow during and after snowstorms.
• Check and make sure that your vehicle tailpipe is not blocked by snow or ice.

Don’t “Toy” With Your Safety

Did Santa bring you or the kids a drone or other air-borne toy for Christmas? Flying remote-controlled devices is a great way to have fun, but accidentally making contact with a power line or other electrical equipment can be dangerous . . . and in some cases, even deadly.
Be sure to remember that when you are playing outdoors
with these specialized toys, keep a safe distance from power lines, substations and other equipment that your electric cooperative uses to bring electricity to your home. Never climb trees near power lines to retrieve your toy.
If you get something stuck in a power line or substation, call us.

Emergency Phone Number

Keep your remote-controlled device a safe distance from
power lines, substations and other electrical equipment.


Safety Tips To Keep In Mind
  • Read the owners manual thoroughly!! When a generator is not installed properly, it can "back feed" through the transformer and produce an output of 7,200 volts on the distribution line. This could injure you, your neighbors or utility crews working on the line.

  • Isolate your generator from the co-op's power lines---connect appliances, etc… directly to the generator with the appropriate sized cords.

  • If you connect the generator directly through your home's wiring, be sure a double-throw or transfer switch has been installed to separate it from the co-op's system. The switch must be equal to the size of the service, not the rating of the generator (i.e. if the service is 200 amps, the switch must be 200 amps).

  • Never try to refuel the generator while it is operating.

  • Provide adequate ventilation and air-cooling to prevent overheating and the accumulation of toxic exhaust fumes.

  • Do not install the generator in a basement, attached garage, or any closed area. The exhaust gases from the generator contain carbon monoxide, an invisible, odorless, poisonous gas.



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