A power outage can send your whole household into a panic. Plus, nobody enjoys doing everything by flashlight while waiting for the heat, AC, or Internet to turn back on. If your home has been plunged into darkness due to a sudden power failure, there are a few things you should always avoid. Here’s some inside info about what NOT to do from our emergency electricians in Philadelphia!
A Power Outage – DON’T Freak Out
When the electricity suddenly bites the dust, try to keep everyone in your household calm. Panicking about the situation will only make everything more stressful, so try to take deep breaths and reassure yourself that the worst will be over soon.
DON’T Spam Call Your Utility Company
If you’ve just been through a big thunderstorm or snowstorm, calling your utility company to inform them that your power is out makes sense. However, calling them repeatedly to ask when it will come back backs up the line for other customers reporting outages in their homes. Rather than continuing to dial their number, check their website for updates — or head outside to ask your neighbors if they have power.
DON’T Leave Candles Unattended
Are you short on flashlights or out of batteries? Candles can be quite effective for indoor lightning if you don’t have power. However, don’t let candles burn unattended, and never leave children alone with candles. The last thing you want is to burn your house down just because you want to be able to see in the dark!
DON’T Refreeze Thawed Food
One of the most irritating — and expensive — things about power outages is losing perishable foods. You can try quickly to eat whatever you can from your refrigerator and freezer, but most people won’t be able to finish everything when the food is safe to eat.
Nobody wants to throw out a stocked refrigerator or a full freezer, but food safety standards exist for a reason. Your refrigerator can keep food cold for around four hours if you don’t open it up. After it’s been sitting inside of the fridge or freezer for longer than this, food will begin breeding dangerous bacteria as it starts to exceed the safe temperature range. We know that it can be tempting to put that thawed-out pot roast or pizza back into the freezer once the power comes on, but this can result in all kinds of foodborne illnesses.
Be especially cautious about meat, poultry, and fish, checking appliance thermometers as necessary to ensure they do not exceed their recommended storage temperature. Also, watch out for ice crystals on freezer items. This can indicate freezer burn, which isn’t harmful to people but destroys the taste and texture of the food. At the end of the day, you’re best off following the golden rule of food safety: when in doubt, throw it out!
DON’T Attempt DIY Electrical Repair
A DIY electrical repair might be on your mind if you’ve been sitting in the dark without power for hours… or days. However, working with your electrical system is a task that trained professionals should only undertake. Do not poke around your circuit breaker or try to mess around with wires. The job will be much harder in the dark — and you’re risking electrocution on top of that!
What You Should Do Instead
Now that you know what not to do during a power outage, here are some things you should do!
- Keep bottled water, flashlights, extra batteries, and appliance battery packs easily accessible for the next time the power goes out.
- Invest in a large cooler and reusable ice bags (or ice packs). Next time there’s a storm in the forecast, fill it with ice packs, block ice, or dry ice, so you have a place to keep perishable or frozen foods cold once the four-hour window passes.
- If you notice anything concerning, such as an electrical burning smell, contact an electrician ASAP to make sure that the restoration of power won’t harm your home’s electrical wiring.
- If power outages are a recurring problem for you, consider speaking with our team about home generator installation.
EP Electric LLC Has Your Back!
Next time the power goes out, keep these dos and don’ts in mind to make the outage more bearable — and don’t forget that we’re only one call away! Need electrical service now or want to speak with professionals about getting a generator? Reach out to the licensed and insured electricians at EP Electric LLC anytime. We hope to hear from you soon!