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Staying Safe During a Power Outage

Power outages do happen. PSNH works diligently to safely and quickly restore our customers’ power when outages occur. During an extended outage, here are some safety considerations:

  • Be attentive to severe weather warnings.
  • Report a power outage online or call 1-800-662-7764 -- 24/7
  • Turn off any equipment that was running when the power failed.

Downed Power Lines

  • Stay away from downed wires and trees that might have wires caught in them.
  • If you’re in a vehicle and downed wires are on the car or across the road, stay in your car until emergency crews arrive to handle the energized wire(s).
  • Keep your distance from any downed power line.
  • Don't drive over downed lines, and if a downed line is in or near water, keep your distance from the water, even a little puddle.
  • And whether a power line is down or not, don't touch anything that might be in contact with it - like a tree limb, for example.


Generators, whether a portable or permanent generator, can be dangerous if mishandled or improperly installed. In your haste to “keep the lights on,” don’t take shortcuts with a generator. Follow these important safety guidelines for everyone’s safety:

  • Never install a generator inside an enclosed space—even if windows are wide open.
  • Generator exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a poison you cannot see or smell. Using a generator indoors can kill you within minutes.
  • Locate a generator well away from windows, and any type of entryway so carbon monoxide exhaust cannot easily enter.
  • Never try to energize your business’s wiring by plugging a portable generator into an electrical outlet. This can feed electricity back into the power lines—enough to electrocute a line worker, or another customer on the same circuit.
  • The safe way to connect a generator to your existing wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor install a transfer switch.
  • Note: When improperly installed, a generator—no matter how “small”— can backfeed enough electricity onto “the grid” where it is “stepped up” to dangerously high voltages. 

Using a generator improperly can be deadly to you and others. Please use the highest level of caution when operating a back-up generator for your business.

Learn more about generator safety.