FirstEnergy Corp.’s subsidiaries — which include West Penn Power, Metropolitan Edison, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, Potomac Edison, Mon Power, Jersey Central Power & Light, and Toledo Edison — are preparing for winter weather by completing inspections and conducting maintenance on weather-sensitive equipment.
Bucket trucks and other vehicles are inspected to help ensure safe operation during the season. Tires are checked each fall and replaced, if necessary, before winter. Air braking systems also are examined, as moisture in the system can freeze and cause reduced braking efficiency. The diesel fuel used in company vehicles contains a special winter additive that prevents the fuel from gelling in the cold. Trucks are also outfitted with anti-skid materials like sand and salt, and tire chains are inspected and repaired or replaced as needed.
"Preparing our infrastructure for winter operation helps to enhance the reliability of our system," said James A. Sears, Jr., president of FirstEnergy's Maryland operations and vice president of Potomac Edison. "Coupled with winter maintenance for our vehicles and snow removal equipment, these efforts help us to provide more reliable service to our customers."
Other equipment undergoing inspection include snow removal equipment, such as plows and blowers used to help crews gain access to substations and clear the work areas and sidewalks at company service garages and other facilities.
In addition to these measures, tree trimming helps to maintain proper clearances around electrical systems and aids in preventing tree-related outages.
Employee safety is also a priority during the winter for FirstEnergy Corp.’s subsidiary companies. Cold-weather operational procedures are reviewed with linemen, substation electricians, and meter readers in advance of any frigid conditions.