Outages can be caused by many things, but usually happen in the stormy fall and winter months when hazardous weather can down power lines, or cause traffic accidents that can do the same. Luckily, outages are relatively rare at SUB and tend to last minutes or hours, not days. Still, being prepared for being without power for longer is always advisable.
What to do during an outage:
- If your power is disrupted, follow these steps to protect you and your appliances when the electricity comes back on:
- Check your fuse box or breaker panel to see if the problem is with your circuits. If it’s not, call SUB at 541-726-2395, any time of the day or night, and report the outage.
- Turn off your heat source (furnace, baseboard heaters) and shut off your water heater at the breaker panel. Turn off your VCR, TV, microwave, personal computer and other major appliances or electronics so that SUB’s distribution circuits don’t overload when the power comes back on.
- If lightning is causing the outage, consider unplugging your electronic equipment from the wall to avoid surges through the outlets.
- Turn a light on so you’ll know when the power is back on. Turn a porch light on so SUB’s crews will know when your power has been restored.
- Do not use a portable generator unless your household circuits are separated from SUB’s lines with a protective switch. This modification to your equipment must be permitted and inspected through the City of Springfield. The sudden energizing of an outside line can hurt linemen working to repair your service.
- Do not go near downed lines, even if they appear dead. They can become energized again without warning. Do not get out of your car if a downed wire is touching it. Your car will isolate you from harm.
How To Check Your Breaker Panel
If you need to shut off the main power in your house due to an emergency, or if you want to see if an outage affects only your circuits, check your service panel. Most panels have a main switch to cut all the power off. If you have an emergency and don’t have a main switch, turn all of the circuit breakers off. If you’re shutting off the power to work on an appliance or the wiring, post a sign that says, “Leave power off” so no one will turn it on by mistake.