Power outages are never fun. Hurricanes are a real scare and result in a power outage every time, but a power outage isn’t only limited to a hurricane. It only takes a strong wind and a fallen branch to rid your house of electricity. While most outages only last a few hours, some can continue for days and weeks, which can be real trouble. Most people are ignorant that even a mere short outage is more than capable of endangering the lives of you and your family if you fail to respond appropriately. So in the name of safety and caution, here are ten things that you should avoid doing next time there is a power outage.
Don’t Assume It Is Out For Everyone.
Before you start having a frenzy check your power circuit to ensure your outage isn’t just due to an overloaded circuit. If that isn’t the problem, check with your neighbors and surroundings whether or not they are experiencing the same issue. Sometimes in grid systems, some houses may lose power while the others are still up and running. Knowing which house has power and which doesn’t will help you figure out your next step.
Don’t Use Candles
Lighting candles seems to be the emergency response of us all. As soon as the light goes out, we instinctively start rummaging through drawers looking for a candle or two. But lighting candles isn’t a safe option; pets and kids could easily knock them out and start a fire. Leaving candles unattended is also another risk one has to take. So instead of candles, it is always better to keep flashlights around the house and periodically check the batteries for emergencies.
Do Not Leave Things Plugged In
As soon as the power goes out, it is best to unplug all the heavy appliances such as television, washing machines, computers, etc., and turn on smaller devices such as a lamp, stereo set, etc. This is because, at times when the electricity comes back. The power surge can fry your electronics or may potentially overload your house circuits.
Do Not Open The Fridge Or Freezer
You never know when the power will be back, and so it is best to leave your freezer and fridge closed; this will keep the cold air inside—preventing the food from going bad for some time. An unopened refrigerator has the potential of maintaining proper temperatures for four hours and more without electricity. A good freezer may be able to keep your food suitable for a maximum of two days. If the temperature outside is hot, you might want to consider wrapping your fridge in blankets to provide an extra layer of insulation.
Do Not Grill Inside
While it might seem like a good idea to bring the grill indoors to avoid a chilly evening while the power is out, it can be pretty dangerous. Charcoal and gas grills emit fumes which, if not ventilated properly, can lead to CO poisoning, which can in severe cases lead to death. The same goes for generators; using an outdoor generator indoors can pose various threats to your life.
Don’t Go Near Pooling Water.
Power outages and storms go hand in hand. This means a high chance that there may be a downed branch or broken power line somewhere in the new pool in your backyard. Under no circumstance should you wade into the water, not even to remove a few branches from your car. Get the authorized crew to look at the area and step in only when it is deemed safe.
Don’t Let The Pipes Get Too Cold.
Power outages during winter include a high risk of pipe bursts. During the winter months, the water pipes tend to burst due to frozen water inside them. In newly installed lines or new houses, the probability of pipe bursting is reduced considerably as they are well insulated. However, it is always best to check the basement, garage, and exterior plumbing in older homes. Check for uninsulated pipes. Wrap them in foam and older blankets to prevent water from freezing.
Don’t Use All The Water At Once
Modernity has given us a boon: no more depending on electricity for plumbing; quite the relief, you can at least use the toilet without worrying about the flush. But hot water supply isn’t unlimited, so it is essential to use water sparingly when stuck in a situation.
Don’t Use All Your Batteries.
There is no power in the house, and to kill time, you are on your phone playing a game, watching a movie, or maybe even tweeting about the current power cut. Still, if you continue doing this, you will end up with a dead phone, which leaves you utterly helpless in emergencies. To preserve your battery, turn your phone on airplane mode, turn off any apps you are not using and then bring out that monopoly set to kill time.
Spread The Word
Now that you are aware of the dos and don’ts of a power outage, it is time to spread the word. Educate your friends and family about the best ways to deal with a power outage. Spreading the word is the best way to apply your knowledge and potentially save your friends or family from a dangerous situation.
There you have ten things that you should avoid doing or keep in mind during a power outage. It is always best to be prepared for a situation, ensuring you have a first aid kit, an emergency kit, and other state-recommended safety applicants. Nature is unpredictable, and so you should be ready for unseen situations. What might seem like a regular power outage may quickly turn out to be a hazardous situation, so be vigilant.