As we enter the winter season, it is typical that we experience a few snow storms in Maryland every year. On average, Montgomery County, Howard County and Frederick County will see between 20-30 inches of snow each year. More often then we like, some homes will experience a power outage during the snowy part of the year. When we lose power, it is not only a huge inconvenience, it can also be very dangerous. For this reason, our team of licensed electricians at Electrical Connections have put together a few tips for you to remember when your power goes out.
Unplug appliances in your home like refrigerators, stoves, computers, washing machines, televisions and other expensive electronics. We recommend doing this because power could return in strong surges as the electricity is being repaired locally. These quick spikes in electric surges can damage appliances and cause long-term problems.
Portable generators should be used with extreme caution in emergency situations only! Companies that make portable generators typically state not to use generators in wet weather because it is very dangerous if water gets into the outlets. In some situations when the power goes out, you may need to run your generator (at your own risk). Companies like GenTent canopy provide a covering to keep your generator outlets covered. There are also other professional enclosures you may want to think about investing in as well. When starting up your portable outdoor generator, it is important to do it away from the house, with the appropriate covering. Never place your generator near your window or in the garage to avoid getting carbon monoxide poisoning in your home.
Light Up Your Home Without Power
There are several ways to light up your home during a power outage. While candles are often the first choice for a light source, we don’t recommend them. An open flame can always be a fire risk depending on the candle, candle holder and its surroundings. Also you must never leave a room with a candle burning. We suggest stocking up on flashlights and other portable battery powered lights. These days there are a number of battery powered lanterns, lamps and hanging lights you can use in this situation. Just remember to stock up on batteries!
Assemble A Safety Kit and Plan
Be proactive and prepare a safety kit for your next power outage. In your kit, you should keep first aid supplies, batteries, a battery powered radio, portable lights, water and non-perishable food. Move your family to a single room and wear enough clothing to keep as warm as possible. If you have battery life left in your phone, you should use it only to make emergency contact with relatives or 911.
Although we hope that we will not have to endure a power outage this winter, we do hope that these tips will help to keep you safe in the event that we do lose power. Our team here at Electrical Connections hope you and your family stay safe this winter.