Utility companies offer winter weather safety tips

Published: Jan. 27, 2014 at 6:34 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2014 at 10:55 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Berkeley Electric Cooperative and SCE&G are providing customers with safety tips that will help keep families safe during the snowy and icy conditions.

A winter storm watch is in affect for Tuesday and Wednesday, with the National Weather Service projected a mix of freezing rain, sleet, snow and ice for much of South Carolina.

Both power companies warn that these type of conditions could result in power outages, as ice can cause trees and their limbs to fall and sometimes take out power lines or meter boxes. Be sure to report all power outages and damage as soon as possible.

Officials urge the public to assume that any downed power lines are live, and to stay away.

In the event that power goes out, you should turn off all large power users in the home, such as heating and cooling systems and water heaters. If the power cuts off while you are cooking, be sure to turn off stove/oven and remove cookware from appliances.

When power is restored, wait 15 minutes before turning any appliance back on, and turn them on one at a time.

Additionally, officials urge customers to avoid using outdoor grills or other appliances as a means to supplement your home's heating system in the event of a power outage. If you are using a fireplace for heat, be sure to extinguish any flames before going to bed.

The North Charleston Fire Department recommends keeping flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries on hand, and to not use candles for emergency lighting or heating.

Berkeley Electric Cooperative customers can report power outages by calling 1-888-253-4232. To check outage maps, click here.

SCE&G customers can report power outages by calling 1-888-333-4465. To view their outage map, click here.

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