The chances that you’ll experience a power outage lasting longer than one hour increase every year. Our residences have become increasingly technology-dependent and our reliance on uninterrupted power is more critical than ever. When the electricity goes out for a lengthy period, some homes can become almost uninhabitable.
Here’s what to do to be prepared for power outages in your household:
- Stock up on the basics. Keep a supply of flashlights with fresh batteries, candles, matches, and a battery-operated radio. Also make sure you have a first-aid kit. Keep a multi-day supply of canned food and bottled water on hand.
- When the power goes out, shut down your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump to protect against damaging power surges common when the electricity is restored. Most gas-fired furnaces don’t work when power is out anyway.
- During winter, stay warm by adding extra layers of clothing and moving everyone into one room, preferably with southern exposure that receives solar heat through windows. If you light a fire in the fireplace, make sure the flue is fully open beforehand and burn only firewood — not paper or other combustibles. If the house becomes too cold, relocate elsewhere.
- If the power outage is caused by severe weather including heavy rain, be alert to possible basement flooding. Electric sump pumps that lack battery backup will not function.
- If you utilize a portable generator it must be located outside, a safe distance from the home. Carbon monoxide fumes from generators are deadly. Consider installing a whole-house backup generator that monitors grid power continuously and automatically activates to restore electricity to household circuits.
- Frozen pipes may occur in an unheated home. If temperatures drop below freezing, open indoor taps to allow a continuous trickle of water and prevent pipe ruptures.
For more tips on making it through a winter power outage, contact Roth Heating & Cooling.