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Duke Energy


Working Safely After Storms

Follow these tips to protect yourself and others when working in storm-damaged areas.

Use Generators Safely

To prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, use generators outdoors in unenclosed areas only and at least 20 feet away from doors, windows and vents. If a CO alarm sounds, evacuate the structure and seek fresh air outdoors.

NEVER plug a generator into a wall outlet. Power can energize utility lines, making them unsafe for repair crews and possibly delaying power restoration.

Outdoor Generator

Avoid Natural Gas Hazards

If gas service is active, make sure the gas meter and service piping won't be disturbed by construction or demolition work. If you are unsure that gas equipment can be protected, call us in advance.

Make sure vent lines for dryers, water heaters or other gas-fueled equipment are properly connected and not blocked or disturbed.

Do not operate any gas appliance that was affected by flood waters until it is inspected by a qualified professional.

Avoid Electrical Hazards

Stay out of flooded basements.

Do not touch electrical appliances or equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

If you must work in wet conditions, use tools and extension cords that are suitable for outdoor use and plug them into ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) for shock protection.

Be Alert for Power Lines

Look up to locate overhead power lines before beginning ANY outdoor job, and make sure to keep yourself and your tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from lines up to 50 kV; higher voltages require greater clearances.

If you see a fallen power line, assume it is energized and dangerous. Stay far away from the line and anything it is contacting and report it to 911. Avoid walking and driving through floodwaters, as they may hide fallen power lines.

Downed Power Line

Would You Like to Know More?

Additional digging and overhead guidelines, case studies, instructional videos and training tools can all be found, at no charge to you, on Duke Energy's e-SMARTworkers website.

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Continue shuffling until you are a safe distance away

For more contractor safety information,
visit duke-energy.com.