Even if you have a generator, you should still keep flashlights on hand for safety’s sake. It’s easy to bump into something or fall down the stairs when the lights aren’t on, and you may need to illuminate an area to respond to the outage. Keep fresh batteries on hand so you can replace them as needed.
Generators and Power Outage Safety
A generator is a great way to power your lights and essential appliances, but they’re not without their risks. Generators produce electricity by burning fossil fuels, and this process emits carbon monoxide as a byproduct. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that is toxic to humans.
Place your generator in an unobstructed location outdoors. Before starting the machine, make sure to check that your carbon monoxide alarms are working. Your generator will get hot after a while, so turn it off and let it cool down after several hours of use. If it’s raining outside, your generator should be covered and elevated off the ground.
A power outage may be caused by a nearby fire. Even if a blazing fire isn’t threatening your house, your home is more vulnerable to fire during an outage because of power surges.
Keep all paths and exits unobstructed and properly store flammable materials. For optimal safety, try to avoid candles altogether. But if you must use them as a light source, make sure that they’re on a level surface.
Candles should always be tended to; extinguish them if you leave the room. Always have a fire extinguisher in an easy-to-access location and make certain your family knows how to use it.
Lock Doors and Windows
Some criminals see power outages and natural disasters as an opportunity to break into homes. Most alarm systems don’t work without power and your home is an easier target when the lights are out.
Because of this, it’s important to lock your doors and windows to keep your home secure. If you notice any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, report it to the authorities.
Surge protectors are important power outage safety tools. Without them, your electronics could be damaged when the power turns back on. Surge protectors are inexpensive, offer protection for your electronic devices, help manage your cables, and extend the reach of your outlets when the power is on.
Food Safety During a Power Outage
Perishable foods need to stay cool to be safe for consumption. While the power is out, be sure to keep the fridge and freezer closed as much as possible.
Most refrigerators can maintain their inside temperature for a few hours after losing power. If your power is out for longer than 4 hours, perishable foods will need to be discarded.