Keeping safe during storms
Con Edison places safety in the forefront of everything we do. Following these safety guidelines can help our customers, and their homes and appliances, to be protected if storms or severe weather interrupt power service.
Do not go near or touch a fallen power line or any other damaged electrical equipment because it may still be carrying electric current. Keep children and pets away from fallen electric wires. Do not touch anything or anyone in contact with a fallen power line or other equipment. Report fallen power lines to Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) immediately and to the police. Our emergency telephone service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If a power line falls on a car or other vehicle while you are in it, stay inside and do not touch anything outside the vehicle. The rubber tires provide insulation that will protect you until help arrives. Wait until police or power company workers tell you it is safe to get out of the vehicle.
If your power goes out, disconnect or turn off appliances that would otherwise turn on automatically when service is restored. These include furnaces, air conditioners, electric water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, and water pumps. Make sure electric space heaters, washers, dryers, television sets, and computers are turned off. If several appliances start up at once, the electric circuits may overload. Also, appliances may begin operating when you are away or asleep. Leave a single lamp or radio turned on to alert you that power has been restored. Then turn on or reconnect appliances one at a time.
If an ice storm, blizzard, or other major storm strikes in winter, your home will remain warm for a time even if power is disrupted. Your home will stay warmer if it is well insulated, if it has storm windows, and if it is free of drafts. If you have a fireplace, burning wood or logs made of newspapers will help. Do not burn charcoal indoors, and do not use your kitchen gas range to heat rooms. Both practices reduce oxygen levels in rooms and can cause a build up of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas. If water pipes are in danger of freezing, turn on the faucets slightly. Running water will not freeze as quickly. If it seems likely your home will be without heat for a prolonged period, the pipes should be drained.
Portable generators designed to supply electricity to homes or businesses during a power outage can be extremely dangerous if not used properly. Before connecting a portable generator, it is vital to disconnect your internal electric wiring from Con Edison's service by opening the main circuit breaker switch or other main disconnect device. Otherwise, power from the generator can go out over the utility lines, energizing broken lines and endangering the lives of workers making repairs. You also risk damaging your electric circuits, damaging the generator, or causing a fire.
Any permanently installed emergency generator must be installed by a qualified electrician and inspected by Con Edison. It must have a properly installed switch to disconnect your interior wiring from the utility service so that the generator cannot energize our lines. Please call the phone number on your bill and ask to speak to a commercial service representative if you have questions about installing an emergency generator.