The weather, accidents and other circumstances beyond our control can affect service to our customers. Outages can be caused by heavy snow and ice weighing down tree branches and limbs, which in turn can bring down primary and secondary wires. Animals coming in contact with transformers and poles damaged by automobile accidents can also interrupt service to our customers.
If you lose power, look around the neighborhood and see if everyone else is without power. If not, the problem is within your home and may be a problem with your fuses or circuit breaker.
If your neighbors are also without power, call the WMGLD at (781) 246-6363. Don’t assume someone else has called – it is better to hear from several affected customers than none at all.
Even though we do our best to keep the electricity flowing into your home, there are times when a power outage occurs. Outages can occur for a variety of reasons: a tree limb or branch bringing down power lines, small animals coming into contact with transformers, and other circumstances beyond our control.
There are other times when we schedule an outage to perform repairs and add new service. If there is time, we alert customers who may be adversely affected by the outage.
What to do when the power goes out:
- Look outside to see if your neighbors have also lost their power. This will tell you whether the outage is an internal problem within your own home.
- Report the outage to the WMGLD at (781) 246-6363.
- Disconnect appliances that will go on automatically when the power is restored.
- Disconnect electronic equipment to prevent damage when the power comes back on. This includes computers, TVs, stereos, microwaves and VCRs.
- Don’t open the refrigerator door unless you know what you’re getting. Food will spoil if you keep opening the door.
- Remember – a fully stocked freezer will keep food frozen for up to 48 hours.
- If you burn candles, make sure you keep them away from flammable materials and places where children and/or pets can knock them over.
When will power be restored?
Each outage is unique. Depending upon the cause, outages are generally short. In fact the average outage for WMGLD customers is ----- . If the outage is caused by damage to a single feeder line, power is generally restored in a short period of time. However, if the outage is widespread and caused by significant weather damage, the time to restore the power can vary.
Hurricane season and seasonal storms can sometimes cause damage to the power system that supplies electricity to our customers. This damage may leave customers without electricity, and although we do our best to restore power quickly, there are some times when power is out longer than we’d like. To help you during an outage, before the storm arrives, you should:
- Make sure you have fresh batteries which are ready to use in flashlights and radios.
- Store drinking water in extra bottles or plastic containers.
- Stock up on food that doesn’t need refrigeration and make sure you have a manual can opener.
- Have extra blankets ready during the colder months.
- Make sure that you have medical supplies and prescriptions on hand.
- Trim the trees and bushes around your electrical service if you have enough time.
- If you have life sustaining equipment, make sure the batteries in the backup system are fully charged.
If a hurricane is heading our way, take these extra precautions:
- Secure objects outside the home which could become airborne by heavy winds.
- Tape, board or shutter windows and glass doors.
- Fill a cooler with ice for food you can use in the first few hours of the storm.
- Know the areas of your home that will be the safest as you ride out the storm.
- If you have a back-up generator, make sure you know how to use it before you have to!
- Turn the main switch on the electrical panel to the OFF position.
- Don’t attempt to wire your household electrical system into the generator. Doing so could feed electricity back into the lines, causing a dangerous situation to WMGLD line crews working on the power lines.
- If direct wiring into the generator is necessary, use a licensed electrician to do this work.
- Have adequate ventilation for the exhaust.
- Keep children away from the generator.
Is there life sustaining equipment in your home?
The WMGLD has always been aggressive in its efforts to determine which customers have life sustaining equipment in their homes. Recently, we contacted customers who previously notified us to determine if this equipment is still in use.
If you have the following equipment in your home, please let us know, if you haven’t done so already:
- Feeding machine
- Apnea monitor
- Heart monitor
- Hemodialysis equipment
- Suction machines
If you haven’t filled out the information previously sent to you from the WMGLD, please do so. If we have this information in our files, we can let these customers know if an outage is scheduled for their area. Our first priority after a major storm is to restore electric service to the police and fire stations, nursing homes, and customers who rely on life sustaining equipment.
When you send in your information, we’ll need to have an original doctor’s letter including the date, address and telephone number of the patient, as well as the specific medical equipment in use.
We’ll contact you after we receive the necessary information. All we need you to do is notify us annually that you still have the equipment in use, or to let us know when the equipment is no longer needed.
Natural gas is colorless and can only be detected by an odor added to the natural gas which produces a distinct, strong smell. The WMGLD periodically sends a card to its customers to familiarize them with the smell. If you think you have a gas leak, leave the home immediately. DO NOT TOUCH anything which could create a spark: i.e. turning on a light switch, using the telephone, etc. Telephone the WMGLD at (781) 246-6363 from a neighbor’s home.
Digging can be dangerous especially if done in areas where underground utilities are located. Anyone who is planning to do excavation work or extensive digging should contact DigSafe® which notifies the appropriate utility of the work. Each utility must identify, within 72 hours, where underground utilities, like electricity, natural gas, water and sewer lines are located. These locations are indicated by a colored flag and/or paint to mark the area in which the lines or pipes are located. The WMGLD marks natural gas lines with yellow paint and electricity lines with red paint.
The contractor is also required to mark in white paint the area in which the digging will occur.
DigSafe® can be accessed through the Internet (www.digsafe.com) or by calling 1-888-344-7233 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. A DigSafe® number will be assigned to the caller and the site can be marked out within three working days from the time the call is made, or four days when using the Internet. Since costs are borne by member utilities, there is no charge to the customer.
The number assigned to the caller by DigSafe® is good for 30 days from the date of the call. Additional information about DigSafe® can be obtained by contacting the WMGLD at (781) 246-6363.