An unexpected power outage in your home is always disconcerting. If you are caught in an electrical power outage, here are a few things you can do to survive comfortably for a few hours until you can get help from an electrician:
- Disconnect - Unplug all electronic devices from their power sources, especially computers, printers, TVs, microwave ovens, answering machines, cordless telephones, and any other electronic devices you may have. If possible, unplug large appliances including your refrigerator, washer and dryer, and electric stove. Turn off all wall switches to ceiling lights and other fixtures in your house. This is done to prevent damage to your electronic devices and fixtures if the power surges or when it is finally restored.
- Appliances - Do not open your refrigerator or freezer during a power outage. This will retain the cold air in these appliances to keep food from spoiling and defrosting. If you have an electronic spark ignition on your stove, check to make sure that the burners and oven controls are in the off position.
- Lighting - Only use flashlights or battery-powered lights during a power outage. Do not use candles at any time as open flames can easily cause fires, especially in a darkened room where visibility is limited because of a power outage.
- Cold Weather Concerns - Keep windows and doors closed to keep cold weather outside. Never use a barbecue, kerosene heater, or other outdoor cooking or heating device indoors. Dangerous fumes are generated from these devices and they are toxic to use indoors. Turn on your water faucets to continually drip a few drops of water into the sink to keep your plumbing pipes from freezing in cold weather. Take a warm shower if you get very cold as water in an electric water heater will stay hot for many hours during an outage.
- Warm Weather Concerns - Open windows and doors to let warm indoor air vent outside. Stay in rooms on the lowest level of your house and avoid going upstairs as heat rises. Take a cool shower if you get too warm. If you are very warm and uncomfortable, drive to a cool location until you can get an electrician to repair the electrical problem in your home.
Power outages in your home can happen at any time. If your home is without power and you cannot reach an electrician, drive to another location where there is power. Take your cell phone so that you can find an electrician to come to your home and restore your power. Look on this as a minor inconvenience and a new adventure and you can survive a power outage in your home.