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TRACKING FLORENCE: How to check for power outages in your area

TRACKING FLORENCE: How to check for power outages in your area
Published: Sep. 15, 2018 at 11:24 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2018 at 9:34 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As Florence approaches the Midlands, many may find themselves without power for a period of time.

There are a number of ways to check outage reports if that happens to you:

  • Check your utility's website for an outage map
  • A number of websites exist, like PowerOutage.us, can also give you updates.

MORE:

State Fire Marshal Jonathan Jones is urging citizens to be fire safe.

"First, I urge every family to have on hand a basic disaster supply kit," Jones said. "This includes first aid supplies, a battery operated a portable radio, flashlight, and extra batteries. During a hurricane, power outages are anticipated and I want to remind everyone the use of candles and portable generators can pose additional hazards.

South Carolinians can reduce their risks of becoming a fire casualty by identifying potential hazards and following these safety tips:

Candle Safety

  • Use a sturdy candle holder and place on an uncluttered surface.
  • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
  • Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish it upon leaving the room.

Generator Safety

  • Operate a generator in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from doors, windows, and vent openings.
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
  • Place generators so exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors, or other openings.
  • Never refuel a generator while it is running. Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling.
  • Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
  • Store generator fuel in a properly labeled container. Store the container outside of living areas.

Chief Jones also offers these cooking-related fire safety tips:

  • ensure the eyes of the stove are turned off - especially if cooking during a power outage.
  • Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home or garage, unless specifically designed for use in an enclosed space and provides instructions for safe use in an enclosed area.
  • Never burn charcoal inside a home or garage.

Lastly, if there is a fire emergency, call 911 as soon as possible and remain outdoors. Never return inside a burning building.

The State Fire Marshal's Office and the Fire Academy make up the Division of Fire and Life Safety, which is a division of the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

You can track the storm by using the following FIRST ALERT models:

MORE: TRACKING FLORENCE

Check back for more updates.

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