Keeping our customers safe and the lights on in Harrisburg

Keeping our customers safe and the lights on in Harrisburg

It took a lot of strategic planning, hard work and the use of a 100-ton crane, but residents on one city block in Harrisburg can rest easier now that a huge tree that had become a safety hazard is gone.Equipment ready to cut down a massive tree

We partnered with the City of Harrisburg and tree-removal experts to safely remove the gargantuan Elm, with roots spanning multiple properties and branches entangled in our power lines.

Once customers began calling with safety concerns, we knew we had to act before the tree caused an electrical fire or outages—or fell and hurt someone or damaged property.

“Tree maintenance on private property generally isn’t our responsibility,” said Regional Affairs Director Maggie Sheely. “But, when it comes to safety, we don’t compromise. We step up to do the right thing and keep our customers safe.”

Equipped with bucket trucks and generators, our crews were on site for four days, untangling the large tree from our lines with precision.

It was a TREE-mendous effort by all that created a safer environment and ensured more reliable service for some Harrisburg residents.

Are you prepared for storm season?

Are you prepared for storm season?

It’s summer, and that means storm season is here.

We want you to know that we’re prepared to continue delivering safe and reliable service in all kinds of weather.

One way we can keep the lights on through storms is with the investments we’ve made in smart grid technology. When an outage happens, our self-healing grid can sense the problem and automatically reroute power to restore as many customers as possible, almost instantly. This technology–along with replacing aging equipment with storm-resistant poles and wires and using data to proactively trim trees before they fall on wires–helps us reduce outages and respond quicker when outages occur.

We’ve also made it easier than ever to stay informed. You can customize your outage alerts to receive a phone call, text message, or email with updates on repair crew status and estimated restoration times if you lose power. You can also sign up for billing and payment alerts on our Alert Preferences page.

Even with the best preparation and information, storms and severe weather can cause damage and result in outages. We keep our outage map updated with real-time information on outage cause and estimated restoration times. You can help us by reporting your outage in a few simple steps on our Outages and Issues page.

No matter what Mother Nature throws our way, we’ll work as safely and quickly as possible to restore power.

“Second to none” electrical safety demo

“Second to none” electrical safety demo

Firefighters face many dangers – not the least of which are electrical hazards – while battling fires and working to keep others safe. 

So when the Scranton Fire Department had the chance to learn from PPL Electric Utilities how to keep themselves and others safer around power lines and other electrical components, its members jumped at the opportunity. 

Dan Hallowich, deputy chief of Scranton’s Bureau of Fire, said the lessons we provided with our Live Line Electrical Safety Exhibit were “second to none.” 

“More often than not, we have to rely on theoretical discussions and case study review to learn about electrical hazards,” Hallowich said. “This presentation was able to put theory into action for us. We were able to see, hear, and in some cases smell, the outcome of these hazards allowing the development of key sensory memories – which is key for split second decision making.” 

“Without a doubt, the PPL Electric Live Line Safety Presentation has improved our knowledge and understanding of electrical hazards throughout the community resulting in a safer environment for our members.” 

Our 7,200-volt exhibit features live electrical wires, utility poles and transformers. Using ladders, gloves, shovels and other tools in a controlled environment, trained PPL Electric staff wearing protective equipment recreate sparks, flames, smoke and crackling that occurs when those items, as well as tree branches and mylar balloons, contact live electrical lines. We also discuss the importance of calling 811 before digging. 

To date, we’ve reached more than 55,000 people with nearly 600 demonstrations since 2016. And more than 50 electrical safety demonstrations have been scheduled for fire departments, municipalities, safety events and fairs across our 29-county service territory during 2022. We’ll once again be doing daily demonstrations at the Bloomsburg Fair, which takes place from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1. 

Scranton firefighters watching electrical safety demonstration Live line electrical safety exhibit

 

 

 

 

 

If your organization is interested in a demonstration, please contact Doug Haupt at dlhaupt@pplweb.com or 610-297-2461. Available dates for 2022 are limited, but 2023 bookings have begun. There are several requirements for the demonstrations: an audience of at least 50 people is required; we need an area suitable to accommodate the exhibit; and the host organization is asked to invite nearby first responder organizations. 

For more information about how we keep our communities safe, visit pplelectric.com/safety.

Be Prepared for Storm Season

Be Prepared for Storm Season

No matter what kind of weather passes through our region, we’ll be prepared.

Here’s how you can stay safe and prepare for all types of storms:

  • Regularly check local news, radio, or your mobile device for information about storm watches or warnings in your area.
  • Keep supplies in an emergency preparedness kit. Include water bottles, non-perishable food, blankets, first-aid supplies, flashlights, and a battery-powered radio.
  • Make sure your yard is free of heavy debris that could be tossed around in the wind. Trim trees to prevent limbs from falling on your house.

Tornadoes

Tornadoes are capable of destroying homes, uprooting trees, and hurling objects through the air.

  • Choose a safe area in your home where you and your family can gather if a tornado warning is issued. This area should be in the basement or a room with no windows and on the lowest level of your home.
  • Conduct routine tornado drills with the entire family so everyone knows where to go and what to do if a tornado is approaching.
  • Watch for signs of a tornado: a dark-colored sky, low-lying clouds, large hail, or a loud roar.

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are violent storms that often cause property damage and life-threatening hazards, such as high winds and flooding.

  • Create an evacuation plan and practice it ahead of time to avoid confusion during the event.
  • Close windows, doors, and hurricane shutters.

Thunderstorms

Lightning kills more people every year than tornadoes and hurricanes. Rain and heavy winds can cause flooding, damage to homes, and widespread power outages.

  • If a thunderstorm appears likely, postpone all outdoor activities.
  • If a thunderstorm watch or warning is issued, take shelter in your home or other building.
  • Shutter all windows and close exterior doors securely.

Floods

Flash flooding can be among the most damaging and costly of all natural disasters.

  • If you live in a flood-prone area, keep sandbags, plywood, and plastic sheeting on hand.
  • Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.

Power outages

Although we work hard to maintain reliable electric service, a storm may lead to a power outage. You can report or check the status of an outage at pplelectric.com/outage or by texting “OUTAGE” to TXTPPL (898775).

 

Source: Questline

Keeping an eye on electrical safety in Lancaster

Keeping an eye on electrical safety in Lancaster

Miguel Cabrera didn’t think twice when he saw a ladder leaning up against a power line on his way to a job site in Lancaster. 

He immediately parked his vehicle, put his hazard lights on and approached a man on the ladder to make him aware of the hazard. 

“I walked up to him and said, that ladder is up against a cable that’s energized,” said Cabrera, a journeyman electrician. “He said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, it can kill you.” 

The man, who was using the ladder for work he was doing on a house, said he was told it was a cable wire, as opposed to an electric wire. He was apologetic and grateful that Cabrera took the time to make sure he was safe. 

Cabrera’s good deed was a great example of looking out for the safety of others. The situation also was a reminder to look up and make sure there are no wires nearby when setting up a ladder for any job.