Remember Electrical Safety as You Participate in the 'Great ShakeOut' Feb. 7 Safety Tips for Avoiding Electrical Hazards Following Earthquakes
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Feb. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- This upcoming Tuesday, people at businesses, schools and organizations across the central US will participate in an earthquake drill as part of the Great ShakeOut Central US to promote earthquake awareness and preparedness.
Safe Electricity® encourages those in participating states (Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi) and other earthquake prone regions to be aware of electrical hazards that can follow an earthquake and how to stay safe from them.
"Earthquakes are terrifying and devastating events," says Molly Hall, executive director of Safe Electricity. "Unfortunately, the danger is not over when the shaking stops. Communities are still vulnerable to explosions, fires and electrical accidents. Understanding electrical hazards can be a matter of life or death in such a situation."
Experts recommend that when you feel the earth shake, drop to the floor, cover by getting underneath sturdy furniture and hold on to the piece of furniture until the shaking stops.
When it stops, take these precautions:
- Indoors, do not use electronics, matches or lighters until you are sure there is no gas leak.
- If you are in a severely damaged building, leave and go to an open space outside.
- Be alert to dangers that could be hidden by debris, including downed power lines and broken gas pipes. If you hear hissing, smell gas or notice sagging utility lines, stay away and alert the utility(s).
- Stay away from downed power lines, and warn others to stay away. Buildings, trees, cars, debris, even other utility lines can become energized and deadly if in contact with a power line.
- If you can, turn off electricity at the main breaker. If your house is unstable or you must stand in water to do so, call the utility instead. Overturned and damaged water heaters and damaged electric circuitry can cause explosions and fires. Turning off electricity prevents this.
- If you smell gas or suspect a leak, open windows if you can do so safely, and then get outside. If the smell is strong, leave immediately without touching any switches. Once outside call 9-1-1, and notify your gas utility. If you can, shut off the main gas valve. Find the shut-off valve at your gas meter, and twist it with a wrench in either direction until it is off. Do not turn the gas back on; only a professional can safely do this.
- Aftershocks can be just as powerful as earthquakes. Be prepared. Practice the same safety procedures you would during an earthquake.
- If you enter damaged property after the earthquake, be certain electricity and gas have been shut off.
As part of its national Teach Learn Care TLC campaign, Safe Electricity urges everyone to understand vital safety measures and to share that information with others. For more information, visit http://www.shakeout.org/centralus and http://www.SafeElectricity.org.
Contact: Kyla Kruse, 217-546-6815
SOURCE Safe Electricity