What to Do in a Power Outage
In an instant, the lights cut out…and they don’t flicker back on. A moment later, you realize a blackout has just set in. So, what’s next? You need to know what to do in a power outage and how to stay safe. That’s why we’ve put together our list of essential power outage safety tips.
At Vertex Mechanical, we’re an electrical and HVAC contractor with a focus on keeping homeowners feeling comfortable and safe no matter what. Since power outages are common during both the summer and winter months, you need to know what to do in a power outage whether it’s 20 degrees or 90 degrees outside.
7 Power Outage Safety Tips
While some power outage safety tips are need-to-know year round, others depend on the season. The most important thing to do, though, is to stay calm. These are the essential things you can do in a power outage to keep your family safe and comfortable:
- Keep Freezers and Refrigerators Closed — If you have a fridge and a freezer full of perishable foods, the clock is ticking. Without electricity, a refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours — and a freezer can manage it for about 48 hours maximum. Keeping the doors closed as much as possible keeps the cold air trapped inside and protects the food for as long as possible.
- NEVER Use a Camp Stove to Heat Your Home — This is a power outage safety tip for those cold winter months. Since your heating system requires electricity to function, when the power cuts out, the temperature in your home will start to drop. No matter how cold it gets, you should NEVER use a camp stove or any other fuel-burning heat source to stay warm. By burning anything for heat in an enclosed indoor space, you’ll expose yourself to the potentially deadly risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Learn more about the serious dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Stay Warm & Stay Cool — Wondering what to do in a power outage? Simply put, regulate your body temperature as much as you can. During the winter, your best bet is to wrap up in blankets and to bring the family together in one room, to conserve heat. During the summer, going outside can actually feel better as you’ll get out of your hot and stuffy house. However, if at any time you think the temperature (hot or cold) may become unsafe for someone in your home, contact emergency services for assistance.
- Have an Alternate Light Source (Preferably LED Lanterns or Flashlights) — As the sun starts to set, your home will become progressively darker and darker. To make sure everyone is safe and no accidents happen, it’s always recommended to have an alternate and reliable source of light. While breaking out the candles might sound fun in a rustic way, you’re really better off with a few good flashlights or an LED lantern. Candles don’t provide the best light coverage — they tend to burn out during inopportune times and they can be a fire hazard if left unattended. We say shop now for your emergency lights, so you’ll be ready during the next blackout.
- Conserve Your Smartphone — This power outage safety tip might be a tough one for some of us… While playing your favorite mobile game IS a great way to kill time, you should conserve the battery for an emergency 911 call or for much-needed light. It might be tough, but put the phones down and use the outage as a chance for some old-fashioned family bonding.
- Disconnect Electronics — Most of our power outage tips are about keeping you physically safe — this one is about protecting your much-loved electronics. Sometimes a power surge can follow a blackout when the power is restored, damaging the electronics that are still plugged in. That’s why we recommend unplugging all of your valuable electronics when the power goes out…it’s not like you were going to use them during the power outage anyway!
- If Needed, Go to an Alternate Location — Traveling on the roads during a power outage is not recommended, as stop lights likely won’t be functioning and power lines may be down. However, in the event of a medical emergency or if the temperatures become unsafe in your home, you can always leave. It is safest to contact emergency services before you do, though.
Follow along with these power outage tips to ensure you and your family stay safe and comfortable. However, we always say that the best way to get through a power outage is with a standby generator.
Trust a Standby Generator to Never Lose Power Again
Sure, with these power outage tips, you can handle an electricity blackout. But what’s better than sitting through potentially hours of darkness and rising or dropping temperatures? Not having to worry about those things at all!
That’s why Vertex Mechanical installs powerful standby generators for our clients. These elite generators are attached to your home’s fuel line — and they provide full power for your home for as long as your power stays off.
Compared to portable generators that require complex setup and have a limited capacity, these units switch on automatically and run for as long as they’re needed. With a standby generator you’ll have total peace-of-mind during any outage, any time of the year.
Contact Vertex Mechanical to learn more about generators — and to get your FREE installation quote!