As frigid weather impacts Vermilion, Ohio, FirstEnergy Corp. utilities remind customers of steps they can take to stay safe and better manage energy bills that may climb as a result of the cold weather. Company line workers also will be ready to assist should the arctic conditions cause any customers to lose power.
"Our electric system is designed and maintained to operate safely and effectively on extremely cold days that create high demand for electricity," said Samuel Belcher, senior vice president of FirstEnergy and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "In addition, our line crews are trained to safely make repairs in all weather conditions in the event a power outage occurs."
Customers should review important winter safety information and prepare in case weather-related outages do occur. Frigid temperatures also can increase energy bills for those who use electric heat sources, such as space heaters, heat pumps and electric furnaces.
Employee Safety Procedures:
FirstEnergy utilities are reviewing staffing levels and cold weather operational procedures to ensure any potential localized power outages caused by the excessive cold are handled promptly.
Company employees, including line workers, substation electricians and meter readers, also are receiving briefings about what steps they can take to stay safe on the job when the temperatures drop below freezing. Company personnel often take extra measures to stay warm when working in extreme cold to restore power after an outage, such as taking more frequent, short breaks to stay warm and change into dry clothing.
Customer Communications Options:
If winter weather does cause an outage, customers who are without power should call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage, or click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com.
Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris. Motorists are cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.
FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts. More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.