BELCO: Tips before/during Hurricane Igor

Posted by on Sep 15, 2010 in Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) is preparing for Hurricane Igor. We wish to advise the public that safety is our first priority during a storm – both for our customers and our employees – and that as soon as storm conditions ease, we turn our efforts to restoring power Island-wide as quickly and efficiently as possible.

When a Storm is Imminent  We establish a BELCO command centre in our C. Eugene Cox Operation Centre, which is responsible for managing electricity restoration efforts.

Our fleet of trucks is fully fuelled and stocked with the necessary tools, including chainsaws and equipment necessary for restoring power.

Our line crews are mobilised with various personnel being designated to strategic locations throughout the Island.

None of our line crews work during the height of a storm in the interest of safety.

Reminder to customers: Surge protection equipment can save your valuable appliances and sensitive electronic equipment when lightning strikes.

Today’s modern electronic equipment is increasingly vulnerable due to highly sensitive microchip components, so it is important to protect it from damage caused by lightning or other fluctuations in electricity.

You can take precautionary measures by disconnecting appliances and equipment prior to a hurricane or a lightning storm.

However, a man-made disturbance to your power supply, such as a power surge or outage, may not give you time to take protective measures.

The surge protector device diverts power surges to ground, limiting excess voltage and protecting sensitive electronic components. BELCO cannot accept liability for damage to equipment caused by power interruptions or voltage variations such as spikes or surges which occur as a result of severe weather.

We advise that you review your insurance policy to determine whether or not damage to sensitive electronic equipment caused by storms or power interruptions is covered by your household insurance.

Calling 955  BELCO requests that customers do NOT phone 955 during a severe storm, as crews cannot be safely dispatched until after the storm subsides.

Please phone 955 after the storm passes. You need to phone just once to have your outage recorded. Call again, if your neighbours have had power restored, but you have not.

When calling BELCO at 955, you will be prompted to key in your home telephone number. If you have provided us with your number, you will then be prompted to follow the menu items and key in the appropriate numbers as they apply to you.

After a Storm Our priority is to restore power to all customers as quickly as possible. As soon as storm conditions begin to subside, BELCO dispatches a team to assess damage and a restoration plan is developed.

Crews work on restoring power to main line circuits to get the maximum number of customers back on with each job, working first on those lines supplying essential services — the Fire Service, Police and the hospitals.

Once main lines are back on, BELCO’s next effort is to restore branch lines and then small areas which feed off our branch line system.

We make every effort to keep all of Bermuda informed of our progress throughout the restoration process. We do this with the help of the local news media, our web site, Twitter and Facebook. Reminders to Customers: Never touch downed wires as they may be live and you can’t tell if a wire is live or not by looking at it.

Telephone or cable television wires that are touching a power line can become energised and should also be avoided. If you see a downed wire, call BELCO immediately at 955, and if you are not able to speak to an operator, call 911 to report the location of the downed wire.

 

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