Tips for Staying Safe During a Power Outage

One second, you’re snoozing on the couch with the lights ablaze and the TV abuzz, phones charging in your outlets and chicken roasting in your oven. The next, the whole house goes quiet and dark.

Power outage. It might be the result of a thunderstorm, car accident, high winds, or just equipment failure. But it’s happened, and you might as well start placing bets on when the power’s coming back. (These days, who knows how long it could take?)

Here are some tips for keeping yourself and your family safe while repair crews work to bring electricity back to the outlets and appliances near you.

  • Don’t run your generator inside your home. If you’re lucky enough (read: wise enough) to have a backup generator, never run it inside your home, basement, or other indoor space. Exhaust fumes may accumulate, which can be dangerous.
  • Don’t use your gas oven to stay warm. It’s tempting, but what did we just say about fumes?
  • Unplug sensitive electronics that can be damaged by power surges. Sometimes, the electric returns with a little too much pep, which is called a power surge. Surges can fry your electronics, so you’ll want to unplug that expensive computer or HDTV so it’ll be safe when the power at last comes back.
  • Don’t go near downed power lines. Just don’t.
  • Chuck the candles. Get a flashlight. It’s the 21st century, friends. The age of lighting the house by candle expired right around the time we started wearing so much polyester. To prevent fires from starting due to tipped candles or dripping wax, invest in a reliable flashlight, preferably one with an LED bulb so you don’t have to worry about batteries.
  • Assemble an emergency kit. Here’s what should go inside your electrical outage emergency kit: that flashlight we talked about, a portable radio, bottled water, non-perishable foods like granola bars, blankets, a first aid kit, a whistle, and duct tape. You can never be too prepared for the next big storm, and you’ll be glad you were extra careful should you ever need to use these items.
  • Be thoughtful of the food in the fridge. Once the electricity’s out, open your refrigerator and freezer as little as possible to preserve the cool air inside. After six hours the stuff in your fridge may have to be thrown away, though the items in a full freezer can last a couple of days. When in doubt, don’t eat food you suspect may be spoiled.
  • Don’t get shocked. That goes for emotionally (you should try to stay calm) and physically. That backup generator? Be wary of operating it in wet conditions or touching it with wet hands, and be extra cautious about going near anything electrical in a flooded area of the home. For those who want a backup generator they never have to touch, look into our automatic generators, which turn on when needed and go back to sleep afterwards, no handling required.

The folks at Wes Carver wish you quick relief from future power outages, which we hope will be few and far between. If you ever need someone to inspect your wiring post-blackout, you know where to find us.