DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Power outages vary on your location, luck on stormy weather and the reliability of your power grid. But outages are something everyone may experience, and something everyone needs a plan for.
Despite the hassle of losing your wifi or TV, power outages can be dangerous if people aren’t properly prepared. These safety tips from the Red Cross, are a great starting point for keeping your family safe during an outage.
- Use flashlights, not candles. Candles are cheap, they smell good, and your home will have a nice rustic, cozy look and feel in the dark – but they’re also extremely dangerous. Use a reliable flashlight, and make sure you have extra batteries.
- Don’t travel. If your lights are out and it’s night, that means street lights are probably out, as well as traffic lights. Even after the storm is over, visibility will be poor and there are dangers of running over downed electric wires.
- Understand generator safety. Gas-powered generators are a godsend for homes and businesses during outages, but exhaust fumes are poinsonous. Make sure your generator is properly ventilated, or better yet, outside.
- Eat the food in yoru fridge first. When power goes out, so will your refridgerator and freezer. According to the Red Cross, an unopen fridge will keep foods cold for four hours. A ful freezer will its temperature for 48 hours if the door is closed. A half-full freezer will keep food cold for 24 hours.
- For long term power outages, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items. Keep your food in a dry area and covered.
- Electrical items in your house should be unplugged. The likelihood of power surges before your electricity returns are high, and disconnecting computers, appliances, TVs and other valuable equipment will keep it from getting damage. Make sure to keep one plugged in so you’ll know when power has returned.
- After a power outage, follow these tips
- Throwaway any perishable meets and food exposed to temps higher than 40 degrees for two hours or more.
- Never taste or rely on odor to determine the safety of food. Cooking can’t kill all toxins from in spoiled food.
- When inspecting your yard, keep an eye on downed powerlines, especially if you have downed trees or limbs.