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Power outage safety tips

Updated on November 8, 2009


By Edwin C. Mercurio

Whether you live in the cold regions of North America or the hot tropics of Asia, here are some safety tips In the event of power outages.


Ensure that hand cranked or battery-type flashlights or lanterns are available. Use proper candle holders and keep candles, combustible materials and kerosene lamps away from children and pets.


Road signals may not operate properly during power outages. Where traffic signals are blinking or not working properly, treat intersections as four-way stops.


Do not use gas, charcoal barbecues or home generators indoors. They emit carbon monoxide.

Keep car remote starter away from children or pets. An accidental touch on the start button may keep your car engine running inside an enclosed garage and may cause toxic fumes to seep into all floors of your home and fatally cause unconsciousness.

Ensure that carbon monoxide detectors are properly working.

In hot tropical regions, drinking lots of water and natural fruit juices is highly recommended.

Watch for early signs of dehydration such as extreme thirst, dizziness, feeling faint, dry skin and disorientation.

Move to lower floor levels of your home where the temperature is cooler. Avoid strenuous activity. Stay out of the blazing heat of the sun. Wear loose or lightweight clothing. If your room is situated on the sunny side of the building, open windows lightly and keep curtains drawn. If your apartment or house has a bathtub, partially fill it with cool water and wipe yourself and other household members periodically with a clean wash cloth.

Pets must be kept indoors or in a cool and shaded area with constant access to fresh water.

Keep freezers and refrigerators closed and open them only when absolutely needed. Without power, a chest or upright freezer will keep everything frozen for about 2 days.

When the temperature rises, wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing and open windows out of direct sunlight to create a cross flow.

Turn off main electrical switch during power outages and make sure that all appliances, air conditioning system, TV sets, computers, printers and fax machines, microwave ovens and home electronics are unplugged to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored.



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  • MercuryNewsOnline profile image

    MercuryNewsOnline 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Good advice. Thanks,

  • PowerOutageHero profile image

    Generator Systems LLC 7 years ago from Hamden Ct

    I have learned that when it comes to a power outage you should have a generator. The trees around the outside and around the generator should be trimmed; make sure that nothing falls on it and damages the genrator.

    To stay out of the dark always have a power surge around to save your tv or computer from being jolted when power is turned back on.

  • MercuryNewsOnline profile image

    MercuryNewsOnline 8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Power outages afford grandparents the chance to play peek-a-boo with the grandchildren. When grandparents are tired, exhausted or the kids cry a lot or become unruly, return them to their parents promptly.

  • lmmartin profile image

    lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

    Good advice -- now how about tips to keep kids from driving you crazy during power outages when they can't watch T.V. or play on the computer. More dangerous than freezing or overheating. (ha)