CREATING A HOME SAFETY PLAN FOR POWER OUTAGES CAN PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM FIRES, PERSONAL INJURY AND OTHER DANGERS
A power outage home safety plan can mitigate or prevent dangers that occur during an electrical power failure. Planning ahead is imperative to prevent bodily harm, injury or even death to those residing in a house or apartment. Any plan must consider home safety lighting, heating, cooling, food, water, medical supplies and communication.
BE PREPARED FOR A HOME EMERGENCY
Keep a disaster supply kit ready in case of a power outage and let every family member know where it is stored. Remember, power outages are typically unexpected and all family members may not be home when the lights go out. A home safety checklist includes:
- Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs
- List of emergency phone numbers in order to contact family/a trusted neighbor
- Bookmarked local emergency websites on your smart phone for easy access
- Battery operated lantern for room light
- Plenty of water stored in clean containers or purchased, bottled water
- Nonperishable foods that can be prepared without electricity including dry and canned foods with a manual can opener
- Baby food and formula if you have young children
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- Medicines that any family member may need
- First-aid kit
- Car charger for electronics and communication devices.
HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR SUPPLIES WITHOUT TRIPPING OR FALLING IN THE DARK?
Pro Tip: Power outage light bulbs are a relatively new solution for power outage safety. These light bulbs are designed for home safety and work even after your power goes out. They operate like normal LED light bulbs and can be installed in most lamps and light fixtures. When the power goes out, they will come right back on and will provide a few hours of light while you implement your plan. Safelumin power outage light bulbs offer many quality features (including a battery test button) that provide essential light. With a little luck, the power will be back on before the backup battery runs down. Chances are that will be the case since the average power outage lasts about 112 minutes.
WHAT ELSE NEEDS CONSIDERATION FOR HOME SAFETY?
Extended power outages require extra caution and planning. Until you the outage will be bfief, you will be best served by planning for an extended outage.
- Create an emergency plan to make sure you stay safe and well in the event of an extended outage.
- Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by using generators, pressure washers, grills, and similar items outdoors only.
- Avoid heating your home with a gas stove.
- If you are fortunate enough to own a backup generator, it must be used at least 20 feet away from your home. Generators are responsible for over 5,000 deaths in the past decade due to carbon monoxide poisoning. They are expensive and difficult to operate.
- Identify and throw away food that may not be safe to eat. Refrigerators must stay at 40 degrees to keep food safe.
- In hot weather, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illness.
- In cold weather, wear layers of clothing to help keep in body heat.
- Always avoid downed power lines; if a power line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle.
- Keeping some type of light visible in a power outage can deter criminals immensely. If a burglar sees that your house is occupied, they will be far less likely to target your home.
- Never change a fuse or reset a circuit breaker in the dark. Keep extra fuses on hand and a lamp with a power outage light bulb by your circuit breaker.
- Call 911 immediately if you have a medical emergency during an electrical outage.
CREATE A COMMUNITY
Don’t panic! Check to see if your neighbors still have electricity. If they do, the problem could be inside your home.
Team up with neighbors ahead of time to help build community resilience. Have a plan in place well before disaster strikes to keep everyone safe.
Prevention is the best medicine in an electrical failure. There are many reasons why a power outage can happen to a certain area and most of them are unpredictable. It can be because of strong winds, a severe storm, software bugs, lightning, decaying infrastructure or an accident. There are several simple steps that you can do to keep your household safe.
If your power goes out:
- Avoid using candles and oil lamps. Remember, these are a fire hazard and a leading cause of home fires. Candles are particularly dangerous for young children, pets and the elderly.
- Depend on your Safelumin LED Safety Lights. They are flexible and their location doesn’t need to be fixed. Place them wherever it is helpful to have light during an outage including bathrooms, bedrooms, hallways and stairways. With an approximate battery life of about three (3) hours, you can conserve stored battery power by staggering usage with a flip of the switch. You never need to be in the total dark.
Before your power goes out:
- Practice your emergency escape route
- Check smoke alarm batteries regularly
- Monitor your fire extinguisher pressures and supplies
- Order some Safelumin light bulbs
It is important to realize that safety is relative. Eliminating all risk, if even possible, would be extremely difficult and very expensive. A safe situation is one where risks of injury or property damage are low and manageable.
Short power outages happen all the time and preparing for them is relatively painless. Always discuss your home emergency plans with family members, including your young children and live-in elderly relatives. Knowing there is a plan and where the emergency supplies are stored will make everyone more secure and confident.