The Newman Blog
When the Power Goes Out
A power outage in your home can happen unexpectedly, and at any time. While summertime outages can be annoying without having access to air conditioning, internet and television, winter outages can be serious and potentially dangerous.
If the power goes out in your home, first check to see if there is power in any of the other rooms. If there is power, the likely culprit is a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse in the electrical service panel, which can be reset or replaced.
If your entire home is without power, look outside for any downed electrical lines and report any incidents to your local utility. Check your utility company’s web site or call them for announcements on area outages. Check back later to see if there is an estimated time when your hydro will be restored. Leave one light on in your home to notify you when the power has been restored.
The temperature in your home can drop quickly during a prolonged outage. When indoor temperatures reach the freezing point, water pipes can split or burst as water inside the pipes freezes and expands. To prevent this from happening, open your faucets to a trickle to keep water moving and open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
Electronics such as televisions and computers can be damaged by a sudden power surge when power has been restored. Therefore, unplug them as a precaution.
Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home is a prime objective. Retain the heat by placing rolled up towels across the bottom of exterior doors to block any drafts. Close the curtains if it is an overcast day. If it is sunny outside, open them to allow the sunshine to enter.
A gas or propane woodstove or fireplace should still work without power, however the fan will not. Before lighting a woodstove or wood fireplace, ensure they are in good working order and the chimney is ventilating smoke. Never use gas or propane appliance stoves or grills to heat your home, since carbon monoxide gas, which is odorless and invisible, can build up and be deadly.
- To have temporary hydro when you need it, purchase a standby generator or have a backup generator installed. Many insurance companies offer discounts for having them. Be sure to run gas generators away from doors, windows and vents and ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have fresh batteries.
- Purchase surge protectors to protect your electronics from power surges.
- Use flashlights over candles to avoid fire hazards, and know where they’re kept. Ensure the batteries remain fresh and keep an extra supply on hand.
- Have a good supply of extra blankets to add layers of warmth as needed.
- Check on elderly neighbours and family members to see if they are keeping warm.
The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice.
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