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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Important Power Outage Safety Tips

Written by Posted On Saturday, 20 July 2019 00:12

A power outage can be a frightening experience for many families who depend on hydro to keep their homes warm during Alberta, Canada’s harsh winter snowstorms and cool during the intense heat of summer. While many outages are short-lived and are nothing more than an inconvenience, others can last for days and may cause safety concerns. What should you do when your power goes out? Here are six important power outage safety tips for you to consider.

1. Be Prepared

If you're stuck in the middle of a power outage right now then it's a little too late to get ready. But if emergency has not yet struck, then now is a good time to get yourself prepared. Every household should have one or more large plastic bins filled with emergency food, water and a few other supplies. You should try to have enough to last your household for at least one week.

Here are some items your emergency kit should have:

- Bottled water
- Cooked canned food
- Can opener
- Flashlights
- Battery powered radio
- Batteries for flashlights and radio
- Fully-stocked first aid kit
- Prescription medications
- Matches

2. Disconnect Appliances and Electronics

When the energy company restores power to your home, you want to make sure that your appliances and electronics are not damaged by the sudden surge of electricity flowing through your wires. Simply unplug major appliances, such as your clothes washer, dryer, electric range and dishwasher. Delicate electronics - such as computers and mobile devices - should also be unplugged. Or you could also have them plugged into power strips with surge protection enabled.

3. Keep Refrigerator and Freezer Doors Closed

When your power goes out at home, it's important to keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. These appliances are designed to keep your food cold for up to 2 to 3 days without electricity, as long as the doors are closed and there is a good seal to keep the cold air in.

4. Do Not Use Gas Stove, Generator or Fire Indoors

If the power is out for an extended period of time, you may need to use other means to cook food, keep yourself warm and keep certain electrical devices operating. So if you're using a generator, just make sure that you use it outdoors away from open windows. The reason is that the generator produces gases that can be harmful if inhaled.

The same is true of gas stoves and open flames. These should not be used indoors in order to avoid respiratory problems. A few candles here and there around the house might be used safely for shorter periods of time, but do not leave candles burning unattended or while you sleep.

5. Leave One Light on Indoors and Outdoors

You generally want to keep all of your lights and electrical devices turned off or even unplugged to prevent damage when the hydro comes back on. But it’s not a bad idea to leave one small light on indoors and one small light on outdoors, facing the street. This is to make it easy for you to know when the power comes back on and for the neighbors and energy company crew at work on your street to see when it is restored.

6. Relocate to a Safer Area

Depending on the weather and other factors, a short term power outage might not be a big deal. You might just be able to stay at home for a few hours or even a few days waiting for the hydro company to come along and get everything working again. But in some cases it's better that you try to get to an area that has hydro, for your own safety.

This is where having a radio and extra batteries can come in very handy, because this will allow you to hear reports from authorities and news sources about which areas still have electricity and whether or not it is safe to travel. You might also be able to get updates with an estimated date or time at which power will be restored.

Also if shelters are set up that have food, water and medical supplies, then you'll want to know about these locations as well.

Surviving a power outage isn’t really that difficult, as long as you take some time to be prepared and follow common sense safety tips like the ones above.

Listing Additional Info

  • State: New Jersey
  • Address: 281 Pennsylvania Avenue South River
  • City: South River
  • Zipcode: 08882
  • SOLD: no
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tracy handy

Tracy is a full-time real estate advisor and blogger. she specializing in real estate technology .and she would like to write real estate,  home improvement topics.

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