Emergency electrical safety tips from Maui Electric Company

Release Date: 10/15/2014

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KAHULUI, Oct. 15, 2014 - As Maui County prepares for Tropical Storm Ana, Maui Electric Company wants to remind customers that electricity can be dangerous and electrical safety should never be taken for granted, especially during an emergency situation. Maui Electric urges customers to consider the following safety measures before, during and after a disaster or power outage:

Before the storm hits:

  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electric equipment and appliances until the storm has passed or until power is restored.
  • Should you need to evacuate, take emergency supplies and remember to shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch.
  • Make plans in advance to go to a safe location where electricity will be available if someone in your home depends on an electrically powered life support system and you don't have a backup generator. Some shelters are designed for people with health needs-just remember to take your own medical equipment and medications.
  • If you have a rooftop PV system, consult with your licensed solar contractor regarding normal and emergency operation procedures for your solar system. As a safety precaution, most photovoltaic systems are designed to safely shut down during outages. PV systems typically have monitoring systems which allow owners to check on the status of their system.

If your power goes out:

  • If using a portable generator, carefully read and follow instructions in the manufacturer's manual. Do not plug the generator into your household electrical outlets.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles or kerosene lamps which can pose a fire risk.
  • Leave one light on so you'll know when your power returns.

If you see a downed power line:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Assume they are energized and dangerous. If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help. Warn others to stay clear. Call the Maui Electric Trouble Line at 871-7777 on Maui or toll free 1-877-871-8461 on Molokai and Lanai.

Maui Electric's free "Information Handbook for Emergency Preparedness" includes these safety tips and more. It can be downloaded online at www.mauielectric.com/prepare. Copies are also available at Maui Electric's customer service lobby at 210 W. Kamehameha Ave. Sign up for Maui Electric power outage notifications at www.mauielectric.com or follow us on Twitter at @mauielectric.