Aug 31, 2012 / 5:00 am
Be prepared….. knowing what to do in the event of a power outage can help reduce the risk to you, your family and your home.
Preparing your home
Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use and where they can easily be found in the dark. Avoid using candles and keep your matches and lighters out of reach of children. If you use candles;
- Do not leave candles unattended
- Candles should be securely supported in noncombustible holders and should be located or protected so as to prevent accidental contact of the flame with combustible materials
- Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame
- Don’t burn a candle all the way down – put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container
- Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home
- Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep
It is also a good idea to store water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit and a battery-operated radio where everyone in your home can find them. Post emergency and utility numbers in a convenient location where they can be easily accessed. Cordless phones or extension phones that require connection to an electric outlet won't work during power outages.
Waiting for the power
During any outage, turn off all circuit breakers, lights, and all major appliances and, if you have electric heat, lower the setting. By reducing the amount of power the electrical supplier needs to restore, you're helping to avoid an overload outage caused by the initial burst of power required to get all those lights and appliances going again. Leave an outside light on as well as one light inside the house — the inside light lets you know when power has returned and the outside light helps the electrical provider determine whose power has not been restored.
When power resumes
It is a good idea to wait 10 to 15 minutes after the power has been restored before turning everything back on. This gives the electrical system a chance to stabilize. This is particularly critical in the winter.
Protect your perishables
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold. If the doors are continuously opened and closed, it will allow the cold air to escape and be replaced with warmer air. Generally a freezer that is half full will hold for up to 24 hours and a full freezer for 48 hours.
Protect your appliances
Electronic devices are sensitive to voltage surges. Electrical provider make every effort to ensure protection from potential damage caused by power outages or fluctuations by installing protection devices on our transmission and distribution systems. Unfortunately, there are occurrences beyond their control (lightning strikes and vehicles colliding with power poles) that can result in voltage surges and therefore damage your electronic equipment. A few simple precautionary measures are listed below to help ensure your equipment is protected during an outage:
- Unplug all electronic equipment and appliances like TVs, DVD Players, VCR's, computers, and stereo equipment
- Turn off your washer, dryer, oven, microwave, and dishwasher
- Turn your heating thermostat to the lowest setting or switch it off
- Purchase a surge protector for all of your computer and electrical equipment. If you use the computer a lot, such as for a home business, consider purchasing and installing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
- If you have an electric garage door opener, locate the manual release lever and learn how to operate it. Make sure you can lift the door using the manual lever and do this while someone else is around.
- If you have a home based business that relies on a telephone system that requires electricity such as a cordless phone, fax machine, or answering machine, try to plan for alternate methods of communication. This could look like having a standard telephone handset or cellular telephone.
- Fuel-burning equipment (barbeques, camping stoves, etc.) should never be used indoors as they are a fire hazard and can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Read more The Fire Side articles
- Power outage safety tips Aug 31
- Do's and don'ts of barbecue season Jul 7
- FireSmart: Your home and wildfire Jun 3
- Juvenile fire setters Apr 24
- Smoke-alarm campaign to save lives Mar 25
- Residential fire sprinkler systems Feb 24
- Smoke alarms: you are worth it! Jan 26
- Ice safety Dec 26
- Dalmations & the Fire Service Dec 12
- Christmas tree safety Nov 28
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) 'the silent killer' Nov 14
- Be Halloween safe Oct 31
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