With winter comes storms, and utilities across the country are preparing for snow. Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy completed maintenance on its equipment and infrastructure before the beginning of winter.

Infrastructure maintenance included inspecting heating equipment for substation components and winterizing substation buildings that house remote-controlled relay equipment. Company bucket trucks and other vehicles were also inspected to ensure safe operation, with a focus on the condition of tires and air braking systems, which can freeze if moisture is present.

Snow removal equipment has also been inspected and is on standby. Plows are used to help crews gain access to substations and to clear the work areas and sidewalks at company service garages and other facilities. Year-round tree-trimming to maintain proper clearances around electrical systems also lowers the risk of tree-related outages during winter storms.