Families lead busy lives. During a power outage situation when the power is out for any length of time, their lives are seriously disrupted. They need electricity to remain safe, healthy, and comfortable. However, the weather in Wisconsin often brings about extended power outages, not to mention the damage snow and ice can do to a home in a short period. When the home experiences a power outage, whether from the weather or an issue within the electrical system, homeowners must act quickly to minimize any damage and get their lives back to normal.
Certain steps need to be taken when the power is out. The following tips are provided by alltimepower to keep damage to a minimum and the occupants of the home as comfortable as possible. Make use of them when your electricity isn’t working for any reason.
Determine the Cause of This Outage
Numerous things lead to power outages. It may be weather-related, such as when a winter storm hits and dumps large amounts of snow in a short period. However, animals have been known to chew through electrical wires and bring about an outage. It could be a faulty breaker or another issue completely, which is why determining the cause needs to be a priority.
Start by checking the electrical panel to see if a switch has tripped or a fuse has blown. If this doesn’t appear to be the issue, check with the neighbors to see if they have power and contact the power company. They need to know about the outage to take corrective action. Authorities must know about downed power lines promptly to send someone out and shut off the power to these lines. Contact the proper authorities using the non-emergency number if you see a downed power line at any time.
Take Safety Precautions
People often pull out the candles when there is a power outage situation. However, it’s best to make use of flashlights and battery-operated lamps to prevent fire hazards. Never leave flashlights running. Reserve their use for necessities, and only light areas that are needed. Conserving battery power remains essential, as there is no way of knowing how long the power will be out.
When the batteries run out, turn to other household devices and use those batteries. For example, pull the batteries from the TV remote, as the television isn’t operating. When candles must be used, be very cautious. Make certain they aren’t near anything flammable, as nobody needs a house fire on top of everything else. Furthermore, never leave a burning candle unattended because doing so increases the risk of a fire.
Many homeowners invest in a generator for situations such as this. If you decide to go this route, know how to operate the device safely before starting it. In addition, install carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home. This ensures if the generator malfunctions the homeowner will know to move family members out of the home before someone becomes ill. It’s better to be outside in the cold waiting for assistance if the carbon monoxide detector goes off than to remain in a home that is making you ill or could kill you.
Unplug Any Appliances
People often have numerous items running during a power outage situation. Before it comes back on, walk through the home and unplug these devices. Doing so helps to prevent an electrical overload or power surge when the electricity is restored. This helps protect the appliance from damage. Furthermore, turn the thermostat to the HVAC system down, as this helps to avoid a power surge. However, leave one light on to know when the power is restored.
When choosing which light to leave, make certain it is in a frequently used area of the house. It won’t be of help to the occupants of the home if the power is restored and the light that was left on is in a bedroom on the other side of the home. Although someone might hear the refrigerator or heat turn back on, don’t count on this. Choose to leave a light on that is in the area of the home where family members are gathering to stay warm.
Minimize Use of the Refrigerator
Protect the food in the refrigerator and freezer to prevent spoilage. The temperature in the refrigerator remains stable for approximately four hours following a power outage if the doors are kept closed. The freezer maintains the same temperature for approximately 48 hours. However, the doors must remain closed for the temperature to remain stable. Opening and closing the doors constantly will lead to the temperature rising in less time.
When the power goes out, immediately transfer items from the refrigerator to the freezer if they must be cooked before eating. This helps to reduce the risk of them going bad before the power comes back on. Do this as soon as the power goes out, so it only needs to be done once. Once the foods have been transferred, shut the freezer door and leave it closed until the power is restored. Eat any previously cooked foods in the refrigerator first so they won’t go bad.
If the power goes out, stay warm by layering clothes and sitting under blankets. Wisconsin winters are cold, and no person wants to be cold in their home. Thick sweaters over multiple layers reduce the risk of this happening. Once you have dressed in layers, sit under an insulated blanket to stay warm.
Never use the oven or charcoal for heat. Doing so leads to house fires more often than people realize. In addition, a person might suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning when using these sources of heat. Recognize that the longer the power outage lasts, the colder the home gets. Consider relocating if the power outage lasts for an extended period.
People find they can survive a power outage situation and remain safe when doing so with the help of these tips. Winter weather hits hard in many areas, and power issues remain a concern. In the event a power surge occurs when the electricity is restored, call for help right away. Doing so ensures the system is operating properly and no additional problems will arise. You cannot be too careful in this situation!
Read more tips for improving electrical safety at home.
Thanks for reading
A Tidy Mind