The Dos and Don’ts of What To Do During a Power Outage

Power outages can be a frustrating and sometimes frightening experience, especially if you’re unprepared. Whether it’s caused by a severe storm, equipment failure, or maintenance work, knowing the proper steps to take can make a significant difference in how you handle the situation. As a trusted electrician in Pittsburgh, PA, Waldron Electric is here to guide you through the essential dos and don’ts of managing a power outage effectively.

The Dos and Don'ts of What To Do During a Power Outage

Answering The Question: What To Do During A Power Outage?

Do: Check with Your Neighbors

One of the first things you should do during a power outage is to determine its extent. Head over to your neighbors and ask if they have power. This will help you understand if the issue is isolated to your home or if it’s affecting the entire neighborhood. If your neighbors also have no power, it’s likely a wider issue, and your utility company may already be aware. If your home is the only one without power, the problem might be localized to your electrical system.

Don’t: Light Candles

Although it might seem like a quick solution, lighting candles during a power outage is not advisable. Candles pose a significant fire risk if they tip over or are placed too close to flammable materials. Instead, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns for illumination. Keep these devices in easily accessible locations so you can quickly find them in the dark. Stock up on extra batteries to ensure you’re prepared for prolonged outages.

Do: Check Your Breakers

Your first step should be to check your home’s circuit breakers. Locate your main service panel, typically found in the basement, garage, or utility room. Flip the breaker switch to “off,” wait about 15 minutes, and then turn it back to “on.” This process allows any residual electrical current to dissipate, which might solve the issue if it’s confined to your home. If this doesn’t restore power, there might be a more significant problem, and you should call an electrician.

Do: Report the Outage

If your circuit breakers are intact, your next move is to report the outage to your utility company. Many companies offer automated systems to report outages quickly and sign up for text or email alerts to keep you updated on restoration efforts. This is crucial for staying informed about the expected duration of the outage and any updates regarding the restoration of power.

Don’t: Use Large Appliances

During a power outage, unplug large appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, and air conditioners. Also, turn off smaller electronics like computers and televisions. This precaution helps prevent damage from power surges when electricity is restored. Surge protectors can also be beneficial in protecting your valuable electronics from unexpected voltage spikes.

Do: Keep Refrigerator and Freezer Doors Closed

To preserve your food during a power outage, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours, while a full freezer will maintain its temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if half full). By limiting door openings, you help maintain the cold temperature and extend the life of your perishable items.

Don’t: Go Near Pooling Water

After a storm, it’s not uncommon to find pooling water around your property. This water can be hazardous, especially if it conceals downed power lines. Stay away from pooling water to avoid the risk of electrocution. Always assume that downed power lines are live and dangerous. Report them to your utility company immediately and allow professional crews to handle the situation.

Do: Conserve Water

During a power outage, conserving water becomes essential, especially if you rely on an electric pump for your water supply. Here are some tips to minimize water usage:

  • Avoid running the dishwasher, washing machine, or clothes dryer.
  • Only flush the toilet when necessary.
  • Delay taking showers or doing laundry until power is restored.
  • Use disposable plates and utensils to reduce the need for washing dishes.

Don’t: Ignore Weather Updates

Staying informed about weather conditions is crucial during a power outage, especially if the outage is storm-related. Use a battery-operated or hand-crank radio to listen for updates on the weather, power restoration efforts, and any emergency instructions. Keeping up with the latest information can help you make informed decisions and stay safe during extended outages.

Do: Use Generators Safely

If you use a generator during a power outage, follow all safety guidelines to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and other hazards. Operate the generator outside, away from windows, doors, and vents. Never use a generator indoors or in an enclosed space like a garage. Ensure that your generator is properly ventilated and that you have functioning carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

Don’t: Leave Portable Heaters Unattended

If you use a portable heater to stay warm during a power outage, never leave it unattended. Portable heaters can be a fire hazard, especially if placed near flammable materials. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use and keep a close eye on the heater to ensure it operates safely.

Contact Waldron Electric for Electrical Repair Services in Pittsburgh, PA

When a power outage strikes, having a trusted electrician on call can make all the difference. Waldron Electric is your reliable partner in Pittsburgh, PA, for all your electrical repair needs. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to assist you with any electrical issues, from troubleshooting power outages to performing routine maintenance and repairs.

Don’t let a power outage leave you in the dark. Contact Waldron Electric today for prompt and professional electrical repair services. Whether you need assistance during an emergency or want to upgrade your home’s electrical system to prevent future outages, we are here to help. Call us now to schedule an appointment and ensure your home’s electrical safety and reliability. In conclusion, handling a power outage requires preparation, caution, and the right actions. By following these dos and don’ts, you can stay safe, protect your valuable electronics, and ensure that your home remains as functional as possible during an outage. And remember, for all your electrical repair needs in Pittsburgh, PA, Waldron Electric is just a phone call away.

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