FPL uses preventive maintenance and smart technology to help predict and prevent power outages. Unfortunately, we can't prevent every power outage, so our crews work tirelessly to restore service safely and as quickly as possible. But what causes outages to occur in the first place?
Well, many things. Here's a list of some common causes of outages that we experience:
- Lightning: Florida is the lightning capital of the U.S., and we experience more lightning than almost anywhere else in the world. For more information on what we're doing to prevent lightning-related outages, check out this video of our Lightning Lab.
- Plants and Vegetation: Interference from tree limbs and branches, especially palm fronds, is one of the most frequent causes of power outages in Florida. We operate more than 45,000 miles of overhead power lines surrounded by an estimated 7 million trees, which is why our crews clear vegetation from power lines year-round.
- Storms: Heavy rain, high winds and flying debris can damage the electrical infrastructure. Because it's not safe for crews to work on power lines when sustained winds top 35 mph, storms can also delay restoration.
- Cranes: Construction equipment, especially tall cranes, can cause outages by hitting our overhead power lines.
- Digging: Many outages occur when people damage underground power lines by digging or excavating. Remember: Always call 811 before you dig! It's fast, free and required by law.
- Salt: Salt spray corrodes metal and damages electrical equipment over time. Salt corrosion is particularly challenging to FPL as approximately 95 percent of our customers live within 20 miles of the coast.
- Animals: Sometimes, animals find their way past our animal shields and into our electrical equipment, causing damage. Squirrels, birds, iguanas, snakes and frogs are the usual suspects.
- Equipment problems: Age and moisture intrusion can cause electrical equipment problems resulting in power outages.
- Flooding: Localized flooding in areas served by underground power lines and equipment can cause power outages and delay repairs.
- Vandalism: Sometimes, thieves and vandals target our valuable equipment. When they're successful, the power may go out, leaving upstanding citizens in the dark. FPL employs top-notch security systems and personnel to thwart those bandits with bad intentions.
- Automobiles: Several times a week, motor vehicles cause outages when they crash into poles or other parts of the infrastructure.
- Natural disasters: Natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires and tornados can cause extensive damage and may require a complete rebuild, rather than a simple restoration.
We know it's frustrating when the lights go out, and we appreciate your patience as we safely restore service as quickly as possible.