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“Oh no, who turned the lights off?” You might have been sitting in downtown Boise the night of August 10th and had this thought cross your mind, or maybe you were watching 2013 Super Bowl, which was more of you just watching a pitch black stadium. In either situation something caused the power to go out. There are a ton of different reasons why the power may go off. Some of common reasons are weather related. A large storm, lightning, ice, heavy rain, high temperatures, or natural disasters may be to blame. A power outage may also result from a manmade accident such as car wrecks or animals on the wires. Do you know what to do if you ever find yourself suddenly sitting in the dark?
Safety is priority in any situation like this. There are many different precautions one should take in many different areas of your home. One major thing you should be aware of is a power surge. When power is eventually restored it can return in surges which can damage electronic items. One way to avoid your electronics being ruined is by unplugging them once the power does go off. Also by unplugging items you can prevent a circuit overload in your home.
While candles have been the way of light when the power goes down for years, home owners should think about having multiple flashlights on hand, or other forms of light that are battery operated. While candles do provide light, they can also be very dangerous for you and your home. If a candle tips over a house fire could begin, resulting in a larger issue than just the power being out. Flashlights will not set your home on fire, and can provide better lighting for you and your family for a longer period of time.
A power outage can also affect your food and drinking supply. Generally, there is a four hour safe window for perishable food items. If your power is out less than four hours food stored in refrigerators and freezers will still be safe to eat. To ensure food that needs to be kept cold stays cold keep the freezer and fridge doors closed as much as possible. If the power is scheduled to be out longer than four hours, don’t worry your food isn’t a complete waste. For food from the fridge you can store it in a cooler filled with ice. A freezer will tend to keep food colder longer then the fridge, and can usually keep freezer foods safe for 24 hours depending on how full the freezer is. When the power is out sometimes a water filtration system can also stop working resulting in unsafe drinking water from sinks. As a precaution, drinking water from bottles or boiling water before use is advisable.
Finally, to help prevent any serious dangers during a power outage always keep a first aid safety kit in your home. This kit should contain flashlights with extra batteries, basic medical needs, blankets and purified water. If you ever have any electrical questions or needs contact EcoElectric of Idaho.