It's a common occurrence: you plug something in, and it doesn't work. Or you have…
What should you do in case of an electrical power outage? When storms hit, typically the place you want to be is safe inside your home. However, there is no foolproof way to ensure that your home is immune to power outages caused by inclement weather or an electrical issue.
When the power goes out in your home, you want to be calm, alert, and prepared. Our expert electricians at Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air have compiled our best safety tips on how to keep your home and family safe during an electrical power outage.
Safety tips during an electrical power outage
Assess your home’s situation
An electrical power outage can occur for many reasons, from weather issues such as thunderstorms or tornadoes to a blown fuse. The first thing to do when experiencing an electrical power outage is to check your circuit breaker.
Checking your circuit breaker is simple, but can feel intimidating if you’ve never done it before. First, make sure all the breakers are in the same position on the correct side – the “on” side. However, if a breaker tripped, that breaker would have moved to the “off” side. If all the breakers are in the correct “on” position, turn off the main breaker and then switch it back “on.”
It’s important to note that electrical issues are not a good DIY home project. If you’re not familiar with your breaker or managing electrical systems, it’s always best to call a local trusted electrician with premier electrical services.
Check out your neighborhood
If the circuit breaker is in its correct position and the power in your home remains off, an outage possibly occurred throughout your entire neighborhood. If it’s safe outside, step out of your front door or look out your window to see if your neighbors’ homes are also without power. Or, if it is storming, reach out to your neighborhood friends on the phone to see if they are also experiencing an electrical power outage.
Whether you see a power line is down or not, it’s a good idea to call your local power company. Also, many power companies post updates online and on their social media accounts. The power company can update you on the status of your electrical power and if there are any down electric lines in your neighborhood.
Headlamps, flashlights, and other LED-battery operated lights or lanterns are helpful for every member of your family. While candles also produce light, they can be fire hazards, especially with small children or pets in the home. Similarly, although your cell phone provides light, you will want to minimize battery use. If you’re using a cell phone, you’ll want to plug it into an external battery.
Another way to source light into your home is through a whole-home generator. Ultimately, the ideal way to manage an electrical power outage is to avoid having to go without power. Investing in a whole-home generator can keep your air and heat as well as your electricity running in the times when you need it. Generators are complex machines, so prepare beforehand by knowing the standards of generator safety.
Conserve your food
The cardinal rule during an electrical power outage is to avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer. Your fridge will remain cold for a limited time, approximately four to six hours after the electrical power outage. The more you open the door and expose the fridge to a warmer temperature, the quicker it will warm up inside, resulting in spoiled food.
Prepare for an electrical power outage beforehand
Ultimately, the best time to prepare for an electrical power outage is before one is occurring. During tornado season, it’s a good idea to have a safe room with any supplies you could potentially need during a storm. Throughout the year, you can prepare for what to do in case of an electrical power outage so that your home and your family can be kept safe.
Electrical power outage preparation checklist:
- Communicate with your family before the plan of what to do in case of an electrical power outage.
- Keep a supply of non-perishable foods, bottled water, medicine, baby supplies, pet food, flashlights/headlamps, batteries, and any other necessary items.
- Fill up your car with gas and have extra cash on hand to avoid being stuck when the power goes out.
- Invest in a whole-home generator to avoid being in an unfortunate position during an electrical power outage.
- Save the number of your local power company, trusted neighbors, and local electrician.
Call Dixie, and it’s done!
At Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air, your satisfaction is guaranteed. For plumbing, electrical, or heating and air services, our highly trained technicians will do it right the first time, on time, every time. For coupons and discounts on all the services Call Dixie has to offer, click here. To schedule a service with Call Dixie, call 334.328.3570 for Montgomery, or call 334.246.4914 for Auburn. You can also schedule an appointment online.
For emergency service and immediate assistance, please call our 24/7 service line at 334.328.3570.