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Power Safety and Outage Tips

This article was archived on 3/7/2021

Do NOT call 911 to report a power outage

With rolling blackouts, traffic lights will be affected.
If you have to be driving, please practice caution and go slow when approaching intersections, as affected stoplights will be black. Treat these stoplights as four-way stops.
Unless there is a life-threatening emergency, please do not call 911 to report the outage.

Please see the attached news release and latest update from PSO. The City of Tulsa has also provided safety tips if power outages or rolling outages do occur:

If Power Outages Occur

In the event of a power outage or rolling outages, the City’s critical infrastructure, such as 911 and police and fire dispatch will remain unaffected. City utilities are also not affected.

PSO is asking customers to try to limit their energy usage at this time to help conserve power and prevent outages. For more information on cold weather safety and energy conservation, visit

Safety TIPS

Keeping You Safe During Power Outages

Due to the extremely cold temperatures, it’s imperative Tulsans practice safety measures in the event of a power outage or any rolling outages. Many things can go wrong in residences if proper safety measures are not followed. Having inadequate power generating and heating sources are one of the main causes for concern during power outages in extremely cold temperatures.

Before your power goes out, make sure your devices are charged and make preparations now. If power does go off, keep the warmth in your home and refrain from opening exterior doors or windows. To keep more heat in, you can place towels under doors and on windowsills. Make sure you have adequate clothing and blankets inside your home to help.

For more information on keeping you safe during power outages, visit:

Generator Safety
If you lose power and plan to utilize a portable generator, the generator should always be operated on the exterior of your home. It is important to keep them away from windows or any other places that would facilitate the fumes entering your home.

Check On Your Neighbors

Don’t wait for your elderly family members or neighbors to ask for help. Be proactive and ask what you can do to help. In these extreme events, the elderly, infants and toddlers are the most susceptible. Call or check in on them to make sure they have adequate and safe heating sources in their home. If absolutely necessary, ask what errands, if any, you could help them with. 

Medicines and Medical-Dependent Devices

If you have medicines that need to be kept cold, ensure you have a place to store them in the event of an outage. If you own medical-dependent devices, ensure you have a battery backup plan in place in the event you cannot plug it into the wall.

Check Your Fridge During Outages
If a power outage occurs, check your food before eating it the next time you take it out of the fridge, check your food before eating it the next time you take it out. To keep your fridge from becoming warm, keep all doors shut. If you have items in your freezer you don’t want to ruin, you can put them outside. Other items in your fridge can be put in your garage, but you need to check on items you don’t want to freeze (this depends on how cold your garage is).

Heating Safety During Outages

Though space heaters can be useful, they can be very dangerous if not utilized in a safe manner.

Space heater usage guidelines:

Please do not use ovens or stoves as heating devices, especially appliances that utilize gas. These can create a carbon monoxide danger in your home. Also, do not use propane heaters not intended for indoor use, either, as they can pose a carbon monoxide risk.

Turn off High-Usage Appliances

If the power is turned off while you are in the middle of using appliances that are using more power than others (washers, dryers, etc.) you could risk damaging your appliance. Please refrain from doing laundry and other tasks that require high energy usage.

Check Your Smoke Detectors
If your alarms are hard wired into your home, make sure they have battery backup power in the event of an outage.

Tulsa Fire is asking residents to check smoke detectors to ensure they are operating properly. It’s also recommended residents purchase and install a Carbon Monoxide detector if they do not currently have one, as many heaters run off of natural gas. 

Check Your Pipes
The extreme cold can freeze your water pipes, so it’s important to stay aware and take steps to protect your pipes and your property. With the potential for power outages, it’s more important than ever to ensure the integrity of your home’s water system.

To protect your water pipes from extreme cold, you should:

If water is not flowing out of your pipes, you should:

Additional tips on protecting your water pipes can be found online.

Outages Will Impact Traffic Signals 

In the event of a power outage, the City expects traffic signals to be impacted. Impacted signals will go black. It’s asked drivers be extra cautious on roadways and near intersections. If a signal goes black, drivers should treat that intersection as a 4-way stop.