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What you have to fix if the power goes out

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When the power goes out, you could be on the hook for the repair bill

It may come as a surprise to many that damage to electricity in a home during a storm could mostly be the responsibility of the homeowner.

A resident in Warren found that out the hard way. Robin Martorana lives on Tod Avenue, an area hit hard by Sunday’s storms. She is looking at a $600 repair to a main service entrance cable that is attached to the outside of her home. She thought it would be the responsibility of the power company but discovered the repair will come out her own pocket.

Here are the items homeowners are responsible for: (Courtesy: Ohio Edison)
-Weatherhead and Insulator – This is the point where the electric lines connect to the home
-Service Entrance Cable – The wire that extends from the weatherhead to the meter and from the meter to your fuse box or circuit breaker box
-Meter Base – The meter is mounted in this box
-Fuse Box or Circuit Breaker Box – This is the main service panel that houses the fuse or circuit breakers
-Household Wiring – The interior wiring that distributes electricity throughout the house.

Information about your responsibility is found in mailings that many customers may overlook. There is also information sent to your home periodically offering different insurance options to cover electrical components.

“You have to start paying attention because I just learned a very valuable lesson. I’m responsible even though that’s heavy duty wiring, that’s my responsibility,” Martorana said.

Ohio Edison officials say it not uncommon for residents to have damage from storms that will have to be fixed by an electrician before power can be restored to the home.

To help alleviate electrical damage during a storm, Ohio Edison urges customers to do the following:

-Report an outage as soon as possible so crews can get to work fixing the problem.
-Unplug appliances like refrigerators and freezers and sensitive electronic equipment like TVs and computers.
-If you spot a downed wire, stay more than 30 feet away from it and don’t walk or drive over a downed line.
-When operating a generator, always disconnect the power coming into your home. Otherwise, power from your generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers. 
-Stay out of flooded basements, even if the power is off. Stay away from the breaker box if it’s in a flooded basement.

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