As monsoons roar into town this summer, businesses can take steps to keep customers, employees and equipment safe from the unpredictable weather.
TEP offers easy ways to deal with the rain, wind and power outages that come with the desert storms. Here are five tips to get ready for monsoons:
1. Check the Outage Map
Updated every five minutes, the outage map shows the location, size, cause and estimated restoration time for outages that affect more than 25 customers.
Mobile app users also may receive notifications if a power outage is in their area. To report a power outage, log into My Account on tep.com or make a report on the mobile app.
2. Call Customer Service Representatives
Our Call Center plans ahead to handle the increased demand during the busy summer months by hiring extra, seasonal Customer Service Representatives to provide quicker service, especially during power outages.
Businesses can contact the Call Center at 520-623-7711 to report an outage or damaged equipment. However, if a utility pole or power line is down, please call 911 instead for emergency service.
For other, non-emergency assistance, businesses can contact our Commercial Call Center at 520-495-6333.
3. Trim Trees and Weeds
Heavy rains can contribute to the growth of trees and weeds on your property. Before the monsoon season hits, check the greenery around your business to make sure it hasn’t grown too close to electrical equipment.
Property owners are responsible for keeping vegetation at least 10 feet away from power lines. Trees that grow too close to power lines can cause power outages, fires and possible electrocutions. If trees are within 10 feet of power lines, customers should call TEP at 520-623-7711 to schedule an inspection.
Also, business owners must make sure weeds and bushes don’t block easements and alleys, which could prevent service vehicles from accessing electrical equipment and property. Plus, property owners can face fines for violating a City of Tucson ordinance about blocked alleys and easements.
4. Buy Smart Strips and Surge Protectors
Protect your office electronics and equipment by investing in surge protectors and smart strips.
Plug your electronics into a surge protector to insulate your devices from power spikes that may happen during a lightning strike or storm.
Smart strips will give your electronics an extra layer of protection by switching to standby mode when they aren’t in use. Some smart strips even have apps or remote controls that allow users to shut them off when not at work.
TEP offers rebates of $5 per strip on select, energy-efficient smart strips for businesses. Find more details and apply on the Commercial Energy Solutions website.
During a thunderstorm, turn off – but don’t unplug – electric appliances that were on when a storm or outage begins. However, leave at least one light on so you’ll know when power has been restored.
5. Use Cell Phones
Encourage your employees to keep their mobile phones fully charged and consider providing them with backup chargers to ensure their availability during storm season.
Mobile phones are safer than landlines when lightning and thunder are in your area. Telephone lines can be conduits for lightning strikes, causing potential danger to your employees and customers.