Municipal officials and utility companies in the region working to recover from the snowstorm are warning about the danger of power surges when electricity is restored to homes and businesses.
Power surges can lead to fires in household appliances. Fire officials say all appliances should be unplugged and main circuit breakers should be turned off. So even if your power is out, turn your appliances off, says David Graves, spokesman for National Grid, which serves communities in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties.
"When we are able to restore power to a certain area, if everyone has all of their appliances in the on position, that electricity will just be a tremendous draw on the system and could cause further problems."
Power surges can also permanently damage some appliances – like laptop computers. And one house fire was reported Wednesday in Springfield. An electric stove had been left on, after the power went out. When the power was restored, a pot on a burner caught fire, causing the rest of the house to catch fire. No one was home and Springfield fire officials put out the blaze.