HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - With gusty winds and heavy rains from Hurricane Delta possible for the Pine Belt, its important to remember the dangers of downed power lines and using generators improperly.
“I would like to remind individuals of safety related to downed power lines. We encourage individuals to stay at least 35 to 40 feet away from a downed power line and always assume that a power line on the ground is a live power line,” said Lydia Walters of Dixie Electric Power Association.
If your power does go out and you have a backup generator, here are a few safety tips to remember before using it.
“Number one tip with generator safety, operate it in an open space. Do not carry it, do not operate it inside of your home, in a garage, or an enclosed area for the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning," Lowe’s Department Supervisor Brach Parker said.
Generators do allow you to plug up appliances.
“You know your refrigerator, your deep freeze. You plug that directly into your generator, not your house," Parker said. "A lot of people have a cord coming from their circuit box to the generator, and if your house is not wired, if you are not properly set up to do that, you will back feed, causing a fire in your house.”
Remember to keep fuel and propane in a safe environment and wear the proper gear when operating your generator.
If you see a downed power line, contact your local power company immediately
Dixie Electric says that when power outages occur and winds are around 25 mph or more, their linemen have to wait until winds fall below 25 miles per hour before beginning restoration operations.