Thursday, July 17, 2014

Power Outages and Squirrels

On this PowerPlug, we are going to discuss the number one cause of power outages and some outage tips. Contrary to popular belief, the number one cause of power outages is not severe weather storms, but animals such as squirrels, birds, and snakes interfering with electrical equipment. This problem increases during the summer months as these vermin populations tend to grow during this season.
We’ve all seen squirrels and birds climbing or sitting on utility poles, power lines, and transformers. There is not much that can be done to stop this, but JCPB installs animal guards on transformer bushings to help keep them from getting into the wiring connections.  Although these devices work some of the time, they do not work all the time. Somehow, someway, those cute critters get by the guards and cause unwanted power outages. Another cause of outages is trees. Remember: plant the right tree in the right place. Avoid planting tall growing trees near power lines.

Electric service is extremely reliable. Power interruptions do not occur frequently and usually do not last for long periods of time. However, for various reasons power interruptions do occur, and individuals may lessen the inconvenience and discomfort by preparing ahead of time for such unforeseen circumstances.

Consider these tips:

1.      Number One: Store candles, kerosene lamps, or flashlights in convenient areas for easy access and use.
2.      Number Two: Look to see if the neighbors’ lights are off. If the neighbors’ lights are not off, the problem may be confined to your home.
3.      Number Three: If possible, check the outage map on to see if you are within an affected area.
4.      Number Four: Check fuses and breakers. If there is a problem with the fuses or breakers, this may indicate that the problem is confined to your home.
5.      Number Five: Turn off all electrical appliances that were on; especially heat pumps, air-conditioners, or electric heating. This precautionary measure will aid in preventing the system from overloading once power is restored.
6.      Number Six: Call JCPB’s automated phone system to report your power interruption. Consider putting this number in a convenient location for easy access: 952-JCPB (5272). JCPB's automated phone systems helps to better serve customer calls, especially during large power outages. It is VERY IMPORTANT that we have the correct information concerning your electric account. Please, check your monthly invoice to make sure that the correct phone number is listed for your account. If the phone number is incorrect, space has been provided on the payment stub for you to write the correct number and return to our attention.
7.      Number Seven: Tune in to social media for JCPB updates on Facebook and Twitter. You may also turn on your battery-operated portable radio and listen for messages from JCPB. If possible, call your neighbors and find out if they have information about the emergency.
8.      Number Eight: If extreme conditions exist and power outages are widespread, you may consider making alternate arrangements until power is restored.
9.      Number Nine: It is important to check on older friends, neighbors, and relatives during emergency situations; such as, extreme power interruptions. You may even consider assisting them in making alternate arrangements if the power interruption is anticipated to last for an extended period of time.

This concludes this month’s PowerPlug. To listen to the PowerCast of this topic, go to Thanks for reading! Have a good day!