Power outages in Colorado Springs are most commonly associated with summertime electrical storms, high wind events, and severe winter snow or ice storms which can leave you without power for several days. This can be life threatening to someone who relies on power to sustain life-support equipment. Intermittent power outages may even be caused by traffic accidents, fires, building or construction activities or regularly scheduled services by Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU).
Empower your Family
- Hand-crank flashlights not only provide immediate light but also offer psychological comfort.
- Light sticks provide an excellent source of emergency light.
- Hand-crank radios help you access emergency instructions and reliable information.
- Extra batteries for hearing aids, TDDs, scooters, wheelchairs or a generator for life-safety equipment are essential.
Before a power outage
- Fill plastic containers with water, leaving about an inch of space inside each one for the frozen water to expand
- Place the containers in the refrigerator and freezer
- This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold for several hours if the power goes out
- Medication that requires refrigeration usually can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hourswithout a problem
- Back up computer files and operating systems.
- Turn off and unplug major appliances and sensitive electric equipment until after power is restored.
- Purchase a high-quality surge protector for electronic equipment.
- Locate the manual release for your electric garage door opener and learn how to operate it.
- Keep a traditional, non-cordless telephone available or plan for alternate communication, including a cellphone, radio or pager
- Keep your car fuel tank at least half-full because gas stations rely on electricity to power the pumps.
- Make sure to have extra cash at home because equipment such as automated teller machines(ATMs) may not work during a power outage.
- Call CSU Line Clearance at 448-4800 if you need tree branches trimmed in or around electric lines.
- Make arrangements to prepare for unpredictable power outages if you are on electric-powered lifesupport systems by calling Colorado Springs Utilities at (719) 448-4800 and asking about the LifeSupport Notification Program.
During a power outage
- Use a flashlight whenever possible rather than candles or kerosene lanterns, which are a fire hazard.
- Do not use your range or oven to heat your home as this can cause a fire or fatal gas leak.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Treat each signal as a stop sign if traffic signals are not working
- Do not call 911 to ask about the power outage.
After a power outage
- In the event of a major storm, the status of your utilities may be monitored through the Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) web page at www.csu.org.
- Look for damage to an outside metal pipe or tube called a “mast,” that feeds electricity from overhead lines into the meter on your house.
- This mast is the responsibility of the homeowner and is typically located at the roofline or the side of a home, coming out of the meter.
- The mast should not be touched – customers can inspect the mast from a safe distance and call a licensed electrician for repairs if it is damaged.
- Once the mast is repaired by an electrician, CSU can restore power to the home.
For additional information on power outages and other utility disruptions, see the Colorado Springs Utilities website at www.csu.org.