4 Ways to Stay Safe in a Power Outage
A power outage can be more than inconvenient. It also presents certain safety hazards. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the frequency of power outages has remained stable in the U.S. in recent years, but the average duration of each outage has gotten steadily longer. In other words, if the grid does go down, it may stay down for an extended time. So will your household electricity, including lights, HVAC, the refrigerator, communications technology and all other electrical circuits. Here are four important tips to stay safe during a power outage.
- Be prepared. Take steps to deal with the loss of power before it happens. Put together a household emergency kit with flashlights, batteries and a portable radio as well as enough food and water for three days. (Don’t count on municipal water if the outage is widespread and lengthy.) Food in the refrigerator section should be safe for up to four hours while food in the freezer is generally safe for about 24 hours.
- Take care with generators. If you own a portable generator, it must be moved a safe distance from the house during operation to avoid the danger of deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. If you use extension cords to connect to the generator, use cords rated for outside use and be careful of electrocution hazards in wet weather.
- Stay warm in winter. Relocate everyone into a single room for more warmth and put on extra layers of clothes. Wrap children and yourself in blankets. Move around to increase body heat. Know where blankets and sleeping bags are stored for quick access.
- Know when to leave. If the power outage is extended, it may be preferable to relocate to a municipal shelter or motel, or to relatives or friends in locations where power is still available. This is particularly true in cold weather conditions and/or where elderly persons or very young children are affected. Secure the house and be careful driving if traffic signals and street lights are out.
For more information about dealing with a power outage in your home, contact the licensed professionals at Apollo Home.
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"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
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