Power Outage Safety Tips

 

Wet snow, hurricanes, lightning storms, or even power grid issues can cause short-term or long-term power outages. Most of the time coping with a power outage is merely a nuisance. It may cost you some perishable food that goes bad due to the interruption of service with the refrigerator or cause some temperature discomfort due to the lack of heat. Preparing for a power outage can minimize the impact as well as keep you and your family safe in the event of an electrical failure. Here are a few tips for staying safe in a blackout.

  • If the power outage is caused by downed lines or sparking equipment  – stay away! Lines may still be live. Contact emergency services immediately.
  • Keep flashlights and batteries on hand so that you don’t need to use candles, which can cause fires.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that could damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors for future power outages.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours.
  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage. Carbon monoxide, which is expelled by a generator, is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death, if inhaled.
  • Keep a supply of non-perishable foods, medicine, baby supplies and pet food as appropriate on hand. Also, be sure to have at least one gallon of water per person per day on hand.  
  • Be sure to have a landline phone with a corded receiver. Too many people have only their smartphone for use, which will eventually run out of batteries.
  • Stay warm if the temperature requires doing so. Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
  • You may also want to check on elderly neighbors to see that their needs are being met.
  • If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult with Roy Spittle Associates who can help you choose the right size and type for your home or business needs.