Losing power during a blackout due to a storm, overloaded grid or power shutoff can range from a mild annoyance to a serious health threat. To stay safe during an outage, follow these safety tips when the power goes out, whether you’re at home or work.
Operate Backup Power Safely
A standby generator can keep you safe and comfortable during a power outage – if you know how to use it properly. Operate your generator outside in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Use Safety Equipment
Your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be battery-powered so they remain operational during outages. At work, exit signs and sprinklers should have battery backup as well. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Turn Off Appliances
To protect both your belongings and electrical workers, unplug your appliances and electronics after the power goes out. When power is restored, it can surge due to many buildings’ worth of appliances requiring power at once and damage sensitive equipment.
Discard Compromised Food
If any food or medication requiring refrigeration spent more than a few hours above 40 °F, discard it. You should also be aware that your water supply may not be clean. This occurs when the equipment required to deliver your drinking water, whether a personal well or a municipal facility, need electricity to operate.
Communicate with Neighbors
Whether in the house next door, the apartment down the street or the office a few floors down, check in with those around you. Without power for elevators, some people may not be able to move from floor to floor. Others may be too warm or too cold, depending on the season. Work with local authorities to get help for anyone who needs it.