A power outage is inconvenient for homeowners. Families won’t be able to use appliances that will help them complete their day-to-day tasks.
An electrical outage that happens during winter, however, is more than just a nuisance. This event can endanger lives, especially when the temperatures drop to subzero levels.
When households experience a power outage in winter, they usually get in touch with their utility company or an emergency electrician for assistance. Getting the power restored, however, can take a while, especially if the electrical outage affects an entire city or community.
When a winter power outage hits your area, take measures to keep you and your family safe and comfortable during a blackout.
Here are a few steps you should take in case of a blackout:
- Keep a Cool Head
Some people panic when the lights suddenly go out of their house. Panicking, however, can do more harm than good, as this can cause accidents or injuries.
The best thing to do in an unexpected power outage is to stay calm, look for a temporary light source like a mobile phone and find your way around the house.
- Stay Warm
Temperatures can dip fast when a power dies in a winter weather event. Take steps to prevent hypothermia by doing the following:
- Keep the doors shut.
- Insulate windows with black blankets.
- Dress in layers.
- Wear thick wool socks, a scarf and warm gloves.
- Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Other than fire, another hazard that can occur in an outage is carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, which temporarily provide electricity to a house, can produce this toxic gas.
If you have a generator in your house and have plans to use it, place this machine away from vents, windows and doors. As much as possible, your generator should be running in an outdoor location.
Given that carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas, you’ll need a device that can easily notify you of the presence of this substance. Before an outage even happens in your local area, make sure you have carbon monoxide alarms installed in various parts of your home. If these battery-powered devices emit noise, move quickly to fresh air by an open window or outdoors if the weather isn’t too cold.
- Get Updates about the Outage
If you have access to a battery-powered radio or a mobile phone, tune in to a local news station for updates concerning the winter power outage. Alternatively, check your landline to find out if the phone lines are still working. Reach out to your friends or relatives by calling them and letting them know your situation. Get them to share updates on what’s happening to your city or community.
- Unplug Electrical Devices during an Outage
When the power goes out, remember to unplug appliances and electronics in your house. A few examples include the refrigerator, Wi-Fi extenders, your personal computer and the TV.
- Refrain from Taking Unnecessary Risks on the Road
When the winter major outage hits the area, some hit the road to get help. As much as possible, stay at home, especially when a snowstorm is going to hit your area. Refrain from traveling when conditions include dense fog, heavy snow or sleet. You could get stuck on the road or get into a traffic accident.
If travel is necessary, take a disaster supply kit with you before heading out. Also, inform someone about your plans along with your expected arrival time.
These safety tips will help you prepare for a possible winter power outage. You’ll never know when a winter-related electrical outage will occur, so make sure that you and your family prepare for the worst.