COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - With the likelihood that power outages will occur due to the freezing rain, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Who do I call if I lose power?
Mid Carolina Electric Cooperative (to report outages) 749-6444
South Carolina Electric & Gas (to report outage) 888-333-4465
How do I stay safe if I lose power?
According to SCE&G, many gas appliances will continue working, even during power outages. Know ahead of time which of yours will work when the power is out.
Most gas fireplaces, water heaters and ranges will operate when the electricity goes out because they don't require electricity. Some models of gas fireplaces can be turned on by hand.
The top burners on your range also will work. But range tops with electronic ignitions will need to be lit by match. Consult your owner's manual for instructions.
Never use your gas oven, range or outdoor barbecue to heat your home. They weren't designed for that purpose. Using them as a source of heat can cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to build up in your home.
Most electrical outages are temporary and don't require any auxiliary power. However, some homeowners choose to use portable electric generators. Please, always use caution when operating a portable generator. Improper use can cause problems and injury to electrical utility workers as a result of "feedback" to the utilities' electrical distribution systems. Here are some safety tips to remember:
- Do not connect a portable generator to your existing house wiring. Connect it directly to appliances. Only use approved and properly sized power cords.
- Operate generators outside, away from flammable objects. Keep children and pets away from portable generators.
- Never add fuel while a generator is running. Turn it off and let it cool first.
- Portable generators should be properly grounded before being used. Read your owner‘s manual for instructions.
- The use of an extension cord that is connected to a neighboring home or business is discouraged. Depending on how the cord is connected to the home needing power, it can result in "silent feedback" to the utility‘s electrical distribution system.
- Never run a gas-powered heater or generator in an unvented space such as a basement or room with no windows or cross-ventilation. Odorless and colorless carbon monoxide (CO) gas from gas-powered heaters and generators can build up in unvented spaces resulting in severe injury or death.