Staying safe and comfortable during a power outage takes some planning. A disaster preparedness kit is essential, but so is knowing what to do and what not to do. Here are some tips on how to act before, during and after a power outage:
- A disaster preparedness kit should be prepared in advance. The flashlights and spare batteries in the kit are especially useful during a power outage. Portable chargers for phones come in really handy, as well.
- Individuals should make sure they know how to manually open their electric garage door and where the lever is.
- The local officials usually provide shelters for warming and cooling in their emergency plan. Everyone should get informed to learn what these plans are in their municipality.
- Electrical generators can be used to supply properties with electricity during a power outage. Portable generators should never be used indoors, due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Candles should never be used for light, due to the extreme risk of fire. Battery-operated devices that produce light, such as flashlights or glow sticks, are much safer.
- Appliances must be unplugged to reduce the risk of power surges or spikes. Leaving one light switch turned on can let everyone know when the power is back on.
- Refrigerators should be kept closed. Typical refrigerators will keep food fresh for about 4 hours. The freezer will last longer, about 48 hours, if it is full.
- It’s recommended to use food in this order: refrigerator > freezer > non-perishable (such as canned food).
- Appliances that release carbon monoxide (grills, stoves or any burning devices) must NEVER be used indoors.
- Downed power lines must be avoided, as they pose the risk of electrical shock after a power outage. An electrician should be hired to assess the electrical safety of the home.
- If perishable food has stayed in temperatures higher than 4 °C for more than 2 hours, it should be discarded.
- The food in the freezer that is colder than 4 °C and has ice crystals on it can be refrozen.
Some power outages may last for only a few hours, but the safety risks they pose can be significant. These tips will help families and individuals avoid those dangers. The PuroClean team is ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.
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November 5, 2015