If power is lost in your home, first look to see if it's an internal problem. First check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker in your home's main fuse/breaker panel. Even if the breaker is in the on position, flip the breaker off and back on to reset it. If the problem is a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, be sure to unplug all major appliances before replacing the fuse or flipping the breaker to reduce the electrical load on the breaker going into the home.
Members with a digital meter can also check to see if a reading is showing on the LED display. If the display is blank, then there is not power to the meter and the member should call Lorain-Medina Rural Electric to report an outage. If a reading does appear, power is reaching the home and the loss of power is due to an issue on the member's side. However, it could also be the result of partial power going to the home. If members are experiencing partial power, they should report the issue to Lorain-Medina Rural Electric.
If power hasn't been restored after taking these steps, members are encouraged to contact the cooperative to report an outage. However, if Lorain-Medina Rural Electric crews are dispatched for an outage and the problem is found to be a blown fuse, a tripped circuit breaker in the house or a tripped circuit breaker inside the meter base, a minimum charge for after-hours calls may be charged to the member.
Remember: The overhead or underground service from the point at which the wires exit the pole-mounted breaker box are considered the members wires and are the members responsibility, not the cooperatives.
Lorain-Medina Rural Electric is not responsible for locating the member's wires. Members need to call the Ohio Utilities Protection Service (OUPS) by dialing 811 before they dig.
At Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative, member safety is important to us. Below are some links to important safety information to help keep you and your family safe including power line safety, power lines and cars and generator safety.
Power Line Safety
Accidentally contacting a power line can be dangerous and in some cases, even deadly. Lorain-Medina Rural Electric wants to help our members stay safe around power lines.
Keep a safe distance
Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment your co-op uses to get electricity to your home.
Always remember to:
Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers and electrical boxes.
Don’t climb trees near power lines.
Never fly kites, remote control airplanes or balloons near power lines.
If you get something stuck in a power line, call your Touchstone Energy co-op to get it.
Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.
Never touch or go near a downed power line.
Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.
Keep children and pets away.
Power Line Hazards And Cars
If a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to stay. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call Lorain-Medina Rural Electric and emergency services.
The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches on fire. Open the door. Do not step out of the car. You may receive a shock. Instead, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground.
As in all power line related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing 911 or call Lorain-Medina Rural Electric.
Do not try to help someone else from the car while you are standing on the ground.
Electrical Safety And Generators
Preventing Electrocutions Associated with Portable Generators Plugged Into Household Circuits
When power lines are down, residents can restore energy to their homes or other structures by using another power source such as a portable generator. If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.
If it is necessary to use a portable generator, manufacturer recommendations and specifications must be strictly followed. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of the portable generator, a qualified electrician should be immediately contacted to assist in installation and start-up activities. The generator should always be positioned outside the structure.
When using gasoline- and diesel-powered portable generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off" position prior to starting the generator. This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently energized by backfeed electrical energy from the generators, and help protect utility line workers or other repair workers or people in neighboring buildings from possible electrocution. If the generator is plugged into a household circuit without turning the main breaker to the “off” position or removing the main fuse, the electrical current could reverse, go back through the circuit to the outside power grid, and energize power lines or electrical systems in other buildings to or near their original voltage without the knowledge of utility or other workers.
Effects of Backfeed
The problem of backfeed in electrical energy is a potential risk for electrical energy workers. Electrocutions are the fifth leading cause of all reported occupational deaths. Following the safety guidelines below can reduce this risk.
Other Generator Hazards
Generator use is also a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Generators should only be used in well ventilated areas.