While an increasing number of Americans are choosing to invest in standby backup generators, many more still don’t know what to do during a blackout. While it may be a rare occurrence, it can also be dangerous to go without electrical power — particularly during the winter months. Here are some instructions to follow in order to keep yourself and your family safe during a power outage.

Step 1: Check Breakers and Confirm Blackout

Your power loss could be localized to your home and due to blown fuses, so the first thing you need to do is check your breaker box. If there are no problems there, look out the window or check with a few neighbors to confirm that your home isn’t the only one that has experienced loss of electricity. Perhaps the issue is a downed power line, affecting even an entire neighborhood block. Be sure to contact your energy supplier to make sure they are informed about the outage so they can repair it as quickly as possible.

Step 2: Save Heat in Case of Long-Term Loss

Obviously, this step is specifically for winter, but that season is when most power outages occur. The aim here is to secure as much residual heat as possible, preventing it from escaping your body and your home. You may want to dress in extra layers, including a hat, to preserve body heat, and then secure any windows and doors. If you have portions of your home you can block off from use, place towels below doors to conserve heat in the areas in which you will remain. The smaller the area you block off and where you keep everyone inside, the more you’ll preserve your combined body heat, enabling everyone to stay as warm as possible.

Step 3: Preserve Appliances and Use Alternative Lighting

It’s always a good idea to have battery-powered flash lights or lanterns (along with extra batteries) on hand. Safer than candles, they will provide light without the added risk of fire. You’ll also want to unplug major appliances in case of a power surge once electrical service returns. (You will, however, want to make sure to leave a light on so you are aware when it does return.) Of course, surge protectors can also be helpful, especially in case you are not home during a power outage and surge.

Step 4: Conserve the Food You Have

Eating and drinking will help your body avoid hypothermia by stimulating your metabolism. You can preserve refrigerated or frozen food by placing it outside, if the temperatures are low enough. If you don’t have that option, you can keep your food as cool or cold as possible by refraining from opening the doors to those appliances any more than necessary.

Continue with Part 2.

D’Amico Electric Company

Since 1994, the D’Amico Electric Company has been offering electrical contracting services for industrial, commercial and residential buildings. From backup generator installation & ongoing maintenance to landscape/accent wiring and home theater systems, our experienced technicians are here to serve you. With our fleet of 10 trucks, we provide emergency electrical services 24 hours a day.

D’Amico Electric is licensed in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, New York and all of Connecticut. Our founder is Anthony D’Amico, a licensed electrician since 1992, who is a member of the Westchester Licensed Electrical Contractors Association.

When you need electrical help, choose D’Amico. We bring safe & innovative electrical solutions to homes & businesses. For more information on how we can serve you, call D’Amico Electric today at (914) 241-6909.

What You Should Do When the Power Goes Out, Part 1

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