Strong Santa Ana winds with gusts up to 70 mph will blow through Southern California starting tonight and are expected to last through Saturday. High winds can sometimes damage power lines and equipment if hit by flying and falling debris.
Southern California Edison (SCE) reminds its customers that outages may occur and to never approach or touch downed power lines. If you see a downed power line or dangling wire — even if it appears not to be live — don’t touch or approach it or anything that is in contact with it and call 911 immediately.
- Safety is a top priority for SCE. Here are important tips to keep in mind:
- Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.
- Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they are fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage; do not use candles because they may pose a significant fire hazard.
- If you’re in a vehicle with a fallen power line on it, stay in the vehicle and remain calm until help arrives. It is OK to use your cellphone to call 911. If you must leave the vehicle, remember to exit away from downed power lines and exit by jumping from the vehicle and landing with both feet together. You must not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Then proceed away from the vehicle by shuffling and not picking up your feet until you are several yards away.
- Water and electricity don’t mix. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Do not step in or enter any water that a downed power line may be touching.
- Do not use any equipment inside that is designed for outdoor heating or cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.
- If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
- Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep food as fresh as possible. Place blocks of ice inside to help keep food cold. Check food carefully for signs of spoilage.
- Check on your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe.
A video and fact sheet about power-line safety is available at: Power Lines & You | Safety | Home – SCE. The information is also available in Spanish.