As Hurricane Humberto approaches Bermuda, The Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO) has issued an update on the Company’s preparation and provided further safety advice for residents.
BELCO’s crisis management team continue to meet regularly and are closely monitoring the approach of Hurricane Humberto. Assets have been put in place before the arrival of the storm so that once it has passed any restoration efforts can proceed quickly and efficiently.
Please be advised that BELCO cashiers will close at 11am on Wednesday, 18th September, 2019.
During the storm residents are encouraged to visit the BELCO website at www.belco.bm for up-to-date information. The BELCO Storm Smart Guide can also be downloaded from the BELCO website, with all information required to stay safe during the storm season.
Some important safety tips:
Downed power lines:
Downed power lines pose an extreme danger. If power lines are down residents are strongly advised to adhere to the following safety precautions:
- Stay away from downed power lines – at least 33 feet or more (that’s approximately three car lengths).
- Always assume downed power lines are energised and dangerous.
- Stay clear of piles of debris or downed foliage that may conceal live power lines.
- DO NOT run from a fallen line. Running from a fallen line may cause your legs to bridge current from higher to lower voltage and you may receive a shock. Instead, keep your legs together and shuffle away with both feet on the ground. Shuffle a safe distance (33 feet or more) away from other utility poles.
Generators are extremely useful tools, but they can also be extremely dangerous if not used correctly.
- Carbon monoxide fumes emitted by a generator’s exhaust cannot be smelled or seen and can be fatal. NEVER use a generator indoors. Generators should NEVER be operated in any part of your home or indoor space, regardless of whether there are open windows. Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
- Hooking up your generator directly into your home power supply could energise the outside power lines and electrocute a utility worker. If you must connect the generator through the house wiring to power appliances, use a qualified and licensed electrician to install an appropriate power transfer switch.
- NEVER store fuel for your generator in your house and do not store fuels near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a stove or water heater. Before re-fueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline spilt on a hot engine can ignite a fire. Overloaded Electrical Outlets:Overloaded electrical outlets or extension cords pose a serious fire risk.
- NEVER overload your electrical outlets. Overloaded outlets are one of the main causes of electrical fires, especially during and after a major storm when systems are more fragile.
Stay off the roads:
Clear roads are an important part of a safe recovery in the aftermath of a major storm.
- NEVER go “sightseeing” during or immediately after a storm. You risk your life as well as the lives of people who may try to help you should you get into trouble. You will also hamper the work of emergency crews, first responders and BELCO crews working to restore outages. Water Damage:Water damaged electrical appliances or wiring is extremely dangerous.•NEVER touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
- NEVER use electrical appliances that have been wet. Water can damage the motors in electrical appliances, such as freezers, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers. For those that have been under water, have them repaired by a qualified electrician.
- Wiring that has become wet or damaged during a major storm cannot be safely reused, even it appears to have completely dried. It must be replaced. Identify any wiring that was under water or dampened. If the water did not reach all levels of a building, wiring that was not wet may still be safely used. Have a qualified electrician inspect any suspect electrical appliances or wiring.
Unplug Sensitive Electronics:
•Unplug all appliances, and electronics, which are not protected by surge protection equipment. It is also wise to unhook the cable box from your television.
BELCO President Dennis Pimentel said: “Hurricanes can cause damage to our transmission and distribution system. I urge everyone to follow the tips we have outlined for their safety and that of BELCO workers. By working together, we can ensure everyone’s safety and also get any outages restored as quickly as possible. On behalf of our entire team here at BELCO, I thank the public for their cooperation, support and patience during and once the storm has passed.”
Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ascendant Group Limited (Ascendant), a publicly traded investment holding company whose shares trade on the Bermuda Stock Exchange (ticker: AGL.BH). Ascendant is also the parent company of AG Holdings Limited, which includes operating companies, AIRCARE LTD., IFM Limited, iEPC Limited and Ascendant Properties Limited. BELCO was established in 1904 as Bermuda’s sole supplier of electricity and currently operates generating plant and transmission and distribution systems to service 35,000 metered connections.