Power outages are one of those parts of life that are pretty much guaranteed. While you may not know when they’ll happen, the fact of the matter is you will eventually experience one, and they can be incredibly frustrating when they do. However, even beyond the inconvenience they cause, they can also be dangerous. Power outages can cause injuries and damage your home, particularly if you aren’t prepared for the complications they can cause.
To keep you prepared for a power outage, here are four helpful safety tips you should keep in mind and prepare in order to be ready for the next time the power goes out.
Have Flashlights in Easy-to-Access Places
Flashlights are incredibly important during power outages, as they give you the ability to see where you’re walking, what’s in front of you, and what you might be about to run into. They also allow you to see parts of your home that may need urgent attention and avoid potential mistakes when working on something, such as hooking up an emergency generator. Make sure you have a supply of flashlights that are easy to access, in a familiar place, and have fresh batteries installed at all times. You might also want to consider keeping a supply of fresh batteries where you keep your flashlights so you’re always stocked and prepared for an outage. Keep in mind that normal batteries can and do expire after several years, so dated stockpiles should be repeatedly refreshed.
Use Generators Outdoors & Away from Windows
Generators are a great way of keeping your home supplied with a limited amount of power so you can have the basic necessities you depend on. For example, those who depend on their refrigerator to keep life-saving medication at a critical temperature may wish to keep their fridge running so their medicines don’t spoil. However, if you do plan on using a temporary or portable generator, be sure to do so safely. Always set up your generator outside where it is properly ventilated, and be sure to do so well away from windows. Generators produce exhaust, and that exhaust can contain toxic fumes and dangerous carbon monoxide. The last thing you want is this exhaust blowing back into your home through an open window. We know it’s tempting to open all your doors and windows to allow airflow to keep you comfortable, but try to keep the windows near your generator closed for the duration of the time you’re using your generator.
Disconnect Electronics & Appliances
During a power outage, power may suddenly and momentarily reconnect in the form of a surge. This is particularly common when the outage is a result of a failure or maintenance on distribution equipment like lines or distribution boxes. Should a surge happen in the middle of an outage, everything connected to your home’s power system could still be at risk. Before the outage ends, disconnect all of your appliances and devices. Conversely, by installing whole-home surge protection in advance, you’ll protect your home from one of these surges regardless of whether or not the power is active.
Don’t Open Refrigerators or Freezers
Finally, keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. We already mentioned that this is crucial for those with lifesaving medications stored inside, but it’s actually important to just about everyone else as well. During a power outage, refrigerators and freezers slowly lose the cold air they depend on, and that means food stored inside could begin to spoil. Spoiled food is more than just a huge waste of money—it can actually cause serious health problems. The last thing you need during an extended power outage is to suffer from food poisoning or a different illness that you sustained as a result of eating spoiled food. To help you avoid opening these appliances, keep a supply of non-perishable food somewhere in your home. Likewise, try to avoid using gas-powered appliances to prepare this food if at all possible. Camping stoves that run on propane or other food that can be prepared without power is ideal.Protect your home from power outages with a backup generator or a whole-home surge protector! Learn more by calling Lightning Bug Electric at (404) 471-3847 today.