When the lights go out, follow these power outage safety tips to protect yourself, your loved ones, & your home
Power outages during severe weather are predictable, making them easier to prepare for…
But they often happen unexpectedly, throwing a wrench in our daily plans and posing a very real safety risk.
Whether caused by a bad storm, equipment failure, or other factors, losing power isn’t just inconvenient. It can also be dangerous.
That’s why learning how to stay safe in these situations is so important. In this article, we’ll cover all the power outage safety tips you need to know to ride it out until the lights come back on.
Power Outage Safety Tip #1: Plan & Prepare Ahead of Time
First things first, the best way to safely handle a power outage is to prepare before it happens so you’ll never be caught off guard.
Having a well-stocked emergency kit, including flashlights, batteries, first-aid supplies, clothes and blankets for cold weather, portable phone chargers, non-perishable food and snacks, and plenty of water can go a long way toward keeping you safe and well-nourished until power is restored.
It’s also crucial to ensure you have reliable access to any medication or medical devices you or a loved one might need during an extended outage—especially those that need to be refrigerated or run on electricity.
If you’re unsure how to manage these medical supplies without power, have a chat with your doctor to come up with a plan.
Power Outage Safety Tip #2: Practice Safe Generator Use
Your generator can be a lifesaver when you lose power, but if you use it improperly, it can be life-threatening.
Generators produce carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas infamous for its deadly potential. So much so that it’s called the “silent killer.”
That’s why you should never set up your generator inside your home or garage. Make sure to do so outside at least twenty feet away from any doors or windows, ensuring that it’s also properly grounded.
Here are another couple of generator safety tips you should know:
- Never refuel your generator while it’s running, and
- Always allow your generator to cool down before refueling it.
Power Outage Safety Tip #3: Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
As mentioned in the previous section, CO can be extremely dangerous, causing headaches, dizziness, nausea, and even death.
In addition to your generator, always make sure that fuel-burning appliances—like stoves, heaters, and grills—are properly ventilated.
Also, if your home doesn’t already have CO detectors, install them on every floor as soon as possible, and change the batteries every six months.
These devices can still function for several days or longer without power. That’s why it’s so crucial to regularly replace the batteries!
Power Outage Safety Tip #4: Store Your Food Safely
One of the biggest inconveniences of power outages—which can quickly turn dangerous—is food spoiling.
Without electricity, your refrigerator and freezer won’t be able to keep your perishable food cold enough to last.
To ensure it stays good for as long as possible, avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer doors unless you absolutely need to.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, with the doors closed, a full freezer can keep your food frozen for up to 48 hours, and a half-full freezer for 24 hours. Any food in your refrigerator will stay safe for up to four hours.
You can also store your food in coolers packed with ice or freezer packs to help it last longer.
Power Outage Safety Tip #5: Stay Warm
When the weather outside is frightful, power outages can leave you and your loved ones vulnerable to the cold.
Always make sure your home is stocked with plenty of clothes and blankets to layer up and stay toasty…
And if you have them, fireplaces and wood stoves are excellent options for keeping your house warm. Just make sure they’re well-ventilated.
Avoid using appliances like gas stoves or charcoal grills to stay warm, as they can produce carbon monoxide.
Power Outage Safety Tip #6: Stay Informed
During an outage, it’s essential to have a way of monitoring the situation and receiving updates from local authorities.
Whether you use a battery-powered radio or sign up for text or email updates from your local government or utility company, this line of communication will keep you informed as to why the issue happened, how long it may take to fix, and any other updates you need to know.
Power Outage Safety Tip #7: Have a Reliable Way to Get Help in an Emergency
Unfortunately, the current state of the 911 system is less than dependable.
Call centers are underfunded and understaffed…
Non-emergency and prank calls make up 35% of their call volume…
And wait times of several minutes or more are all too common, resulting in disastrous consequences.
But with the Rescu personal safety app, you can avoid all these risks and get emergency help twenty times faster than 911.
With just two taps on your phone, Rescu lets you dispatch fire, police, or medical first responders to your address or current location anywhere in the US.
There’s no need to talk with anyone over the phone, go through a time-consuming question-and-answer session with a dispatcher, or describe your situation to anyone.
Just two taps and help is on its way.
Plus, Rescu’s headquarters—a 5-Diamond UL-Certified monitoring center—is totally subscriber-dedicated, meaning you’ll never have to worry about the delays and complications that come with the 911 system.
In an emergency, Rescu is a literal lifesaver. A guarantee that you and your loved ones will get help when you need it, rather than the dice roll of calling 911.
Download the Rescu app today for the fastest way to get help in an emergency.