As a homeowner, it is imperative to be prepared for an electrical emergency. This is especially the case during the summer months, when extreme heat and storms can shut down major power plants and leave many communities completely dark. However, when the power goes out, the situation isn’t as innocuous as it seems. Major appliances could be leaking fumes and you could risk a major surge when the power comes back on, which can cause fires and other damage. If you have multiple persons in your family, it is especially important to kick into gear when the power goes out – the last thing you want is for someone to get injured or become displaced. Here are five electrical emergency prep tips for homeowners.
- Make sure that you don’t have any major carbon monoxide leaks. When the power goes out, it could cause certain appliances to shut off and the gas main might be pumping fumes into your home. So, to prevent gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning, you want to turn everything off safely. You may want to open a window to get plenty of fresh air. And whatever you do, don’t seek shelter in a closed garage with a running car.
- Make sure that you have an emergency kit. It is critical that you have some kind of easily accessible kit that you can access in case of an electrical emergency. One of the best places to put this kit is in the kitchen – where a child or adult can easily access it. Your emergency kit should include a number of important items, like flashlights, extra batteries, bandages and medication. In order to prevent a situation where you are caught off guard, it may be smart to assemble your emergency kit sooner rather than later – just in case.
- Make sure that you have some warm blankets on hand. It is also critical that you have easy and convenient access to warm blankets. In the instance of a major power outage in the winter, it is critical to stay warm, especially if there is no other source of heat. These blankets should be thick enough to stay warm and protected in below freezing temperatures – you just never know how long your home will be without power.
- Make sure to unplug all of your appliances. For instance, things like televisions, computers and other gadgets should be unplugged, because when the power comes back on, it could cause a surge. A surge can damage the appliances and it could cause a spark that could start a fire. In order to avoid a disastrous fire, be sure to remain diligent about unplugging all the items you can unplug.
- Make sure to place your perishables in a thermal bucket with ice. If the power is off more than six hours, the food in your fridge may start to perish. This is why you want to make sure that you put these items in some kind of temperature-protected bucket. In the end, you probably want to have plenty of dry foods on hand as well.