Meralco's power safety tips during typhoons


Posted at Oct 01 2009 05:48 PM | Updated as of Oct 02 2009 01:48 AM

MANILA - Power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has reminded the public to ensure the safety of electrical facilities in their homes during typhoons, especially when these bring heavy flooding like the one that hit Luzon over the weekend.

"After a flood, exercise all caution before you plug-and-turn on your appliances. Ask a licensed electrical practitioner to help you find out if it would be safe to turn your power back on," said Meralco External Communications Manager Joe Zaldarriaga in a press statement.

To minimize inconveniences and prevent accidents, Meralco has these tips:

  •  Make sure that the main electrical power switch or circuit breaker is turned off.
  • When you need to touch a switch and the floor is still wet, stand on dry board or carton or wear rubber sole boots.
  • Use a dry stick or rubber gloves, or well-insulated pliers or tools to pull handles
  • Unplug all equipment and appliances. Turn off the switch of permanently connected equipment. Unscrew all light bulbs if possible 
  • Remove mud and dirt from the service equipment or main circuit breaker/fuse and its enclosure with rubber gloves and rubber sole shoes
  • Allow electrical wires, connectors and other wiring devices to dry completely. Drying may take days, depending on how wet the system is and on external temperature
  • When all electrical wires and accessories are dry and clean, the wiring system must be checked, and;
  • The appliance itself must be completely dry, serviced or checked by a licensed electrician. Do not turn on damaged electrical appliances.

Power restoration Meralco is now nearing completion of its power restoration work after tropical storm "Ondoy" battered Luzon last Saturday, destroying homes, roads and other infrastructure.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, the company said only 6 distribution circuits or less than 1% of the total 683 distribution circuits in its entire franchise remain to be without power.

These circuits are those that are still severely affected by massive flooding.

Meralco officials said it is doing its best to bring electric service back in the remaining areas, but it noted this may take some more time since it is waiting for floodwaters to substantially subside.

Meralco is also conducting a thorough meter check in the affected areas.

"This is also a precautionary and safety measure that we are undertaking before we restore electricity back to our customers' homes. Many of the meters in the areas heavily hit by "Ondoy" were submerged in floodwaters," said Zaldarriaga in a statement.

Meralco customers who are in need of any assistance may call the company at 16211 or text their concerns to 09175592824 and 09209292824.