Hurricanes can damage power lines and create fire hazards. Virginia Beach residents are urged to follow these precautions:
Candles - Avoid using lighted candles. If you do use them, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. And NEVER leave burning candles unattended!
Barbecue Grills - Do not use any grill (charcoal or gas) indoors at any time. Burning charcoal gives off large amounts of toxic carbon monoxide. The propane in gas grills can create a severe explosion hazard when used in an enclosed space.
Electricity - If your home has suffered water damage, do not turn on the electricity until the circuits have been checked by a qualified electrician. Even though the water level has subsided, moisture may still be trapped within electrical boxes, receptacles, motors and switches.
Portable Generators -To avoid the danger of electrical shock, portable generators should never be connected to building wiring systems. If you must use a portable generator, connect appliances directly to the generator. Always keep your portable generator outside of your home and never in your garage because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Even with the garage door open, fumes can accumulate.
Electrical Power Lines - Avoid loose or dangling electrical wires. All wires should be considered live. Even wires that normally would not hurt you, like telephone or cable wires, could have come in contact with energized wires or equipment. Report dangling or loose wires to the Fire Department by calling 911. Do not touch or attempt to move them. Keep everyone out of the area. If you are in your car and electrical power lines fall on it, call out for help. Stay calm and remain in your car. Await emergency personnel. DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR unless your life is in immediate danger, i.e., car on fire, about to fall off bridge, etc. If you must get out, DO NOT STEP -- JUMP CLEAR. If you step, your body could complete the path of electricity to the ground, and you could be electrocuted.
Emergency preparedness information is available at www.VBgov.com/beprepared. For up-to-date storm information, follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CityofVaBeach and Twitter http://twitter.com/cityofvabeach (#VBSandy), or call VB311 Citizen Services by dialing 311 on landlines within the city limits, (757) 385-3111 by cell phone, or visit www.VBgov.com for online assistance.
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