Winter Storm and Power Outage Safety Tips

Be careful of tree limbs and wires:

  • Stay away from tree limbs and wires – you may not be able to see wires that are touching branches
  • Call a tree or yard company to handle damaged trees and limbs – don’t try to do this yourself, especially if power lines are down.
  • Call your electric company immediately if there are downed wires in your neighborhood.

Power outages increase the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • If you are using a generator, make sure that it vents outside. Be careful when fueling it. Make sure you plug in carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home.
  • If you use a woodstove or fireplace for heat, please monitor them closely.
  • Candles pose a major risk of fire so don't leave them unattended. Flashlights are a much safer source of light.
  • Consider unplugging major electrical equipment to avoid potential damage from power surges when the power comes back on.
  • Seek shelter if you need it, the American Red Cross and local media can provide a list of the shelters near you.

Shovel your walkways:

  • Shovel the snow and treat your sidewalk and walkways with sand to prevent slips and falls on your property.
  • Daytime thaw and nighttime freeze cycles increase the slipping hazard.

Cold weather and no heat increase the danger for frozen pipes and water damage:

  • If you leave your house for an extended period of time, consider draining the water from your pipes
  • Turn the water off at the main shut-off (usually in the basement), and let a faucet run in the basement sink or ground floor until the water stops flowing; this will get most water out of the pipes.
  • You can also drain the water from a relief valve in the basement into your sewer drain or basement sink. If all else fails, call a plumber.
  • If you remain at home and the temperatures drop below freezing outside, turn your water on so that the faucets drip slowly – this makes it harder for the water in the pipes to freeze. You can also open cabinet doors that cover pipes in the kitchen and bathrooms to expose them to warmer temperatures.

Find additional safety and preparedness material online at:

To Report a Claim 24/7: Massachusetts and Connecticut customers can call Bunker Hill Insurance at 888-472-5246. New Hampshire customers can call Plymouth Rock Assurance at 800-932-6288 to report a claim.

  • If your home is damaged as a result of severe weather and you need to file a claim, or if you have any questions about your coverage, please contact your local independent agent.


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