Think about how many parts of your home rely on electricity. From your telephones and computers to the food in your refrigerator, there are so many crucial elements of your home that require electricity. When the power goes out, there are certain steps you can take to limit the damage done to your home and to make sure that everyone else in your neighborhood is okay.
Living in the Pacific Northwest can be dark and stormy, which is why it is always good to have a plan for when the power goes out. If you’re in Bellevue and you experience a power outage, be sure to contact the experts at Merv Electric. Our staff of trained professionals will ensure that your power is restored, or we can diagnose the problem if you realize that it is only your house that lost power. For more information, be sure to visit our website today to see a list of all of our services and to discover what an emergency electrician can do for you.
What to do when the Power Goes Out
When the power goes out, the most important thing to do is to not panic. Many times, homeowners will freak out and immediately fly into apocalypse mode. Sometimes, there may be a serious threat or possibility of danger outside, but most of the time it is usually a small issue that can be repaired by the electrical provider of your municipality.
One other classic mistake that homeowners make is that they don’t unplug expensive or valuable electronics. When the power goes back on, or it starts to flicker, it is important to unplug these items to prevent a power surge from frying their computer chips and internal electronics. This is especially important for computers, televisions, gaming consoles, and phones that may be plugged in.
Ideally, you will already have a backup plan complete with non-perishable goods, backup power sources, and extra medical supplies. However, life throws you curve balls and you may not be expecting a power outage at all. So, here are some tips for helping you keep calm and carry on during a power outage.
Beyond these extremely basic tips, we have put together a list of the most important things to do when the power goes out. This list is loosely based on the checklist provided by the Department of Homeland Security. Here is what you can do when the power goes out.
1. Keep Cold Things Cold, and Hot Things Hot
This tip pertains mainly to the kitchen, but be sure to keep insulated areas insulated for as long as possible. If you have a room that is particularly warm because of heating vents, make sure you keep that room well insulated and limit how long the door to this room is open. For cold things like the freezer and refrigerator, try not to open them too many times during the power outages. Refrigerators are great at insulating cold air, but the more you open the door, the more all that cold air escapes.
2. Turn Off the Gas
Many homeowners will attempt to heat their house during a power outage with a gas stove. While this may seem like a safe, sane, and totally sound idea, it can lead to some serious danger. The buildup of natural gas in your house could potentially turn your home into a tinderbox. If any sparks happen while you are heating your home with the oven, your home may explode.
3. Disconnect Appliances and Electronics
If there is a power outage, unplugging your appliances and electronics will protect them from any surges. Power surges occur when the power being supplied to your house exceeds its normal levels. While this short spike in electrical current typically lasts less than a second, it can severely damage any electronics that are still connected to your home’s electrical system. Disconnecting your appliances and electronics will prevent the microprocessors inside of them from being fried or damaged.
4. Find Backup Power for Any Medical Devices
This is incredibly important for anyone in your household who has a medical condition that requires power-dependent medical devices. Whether it’s a respirator, ventilator, oxygen machine, or a home dialysis system, finding battery power or generator power for these devices is crucial for maintaining you or your loved one’s health. Ideally, you would already have a backup battery for these devices. In the case that you don’t have an emergency protocol in place, this might be a crucial first step for the survival of you or your loved ones.
5. Find Alternative Locations for Cooling and Heating
Depending on the season and the climate your house is in, finding an alternative location for cooling and heating could be the difference between life and death. Here in Puget Sound, we can get cold winters, so be sure to see if there are warming stations in your neighborhood. Alternatively, seek the help of a friend or family member that still has power in their house. Ensuring that you have access to heating and cooling is vital to not only your comfort but also your safety.
6. Assess the Situation and Check on Your Neighbors
Power outages can be scary. We rely on technology so much that when we don’t have it, it can alarm some folks and send them panicking. If you have assessed that you and your household are safe, perhaps you can assist others who may not be as prepared as you. This is especially effective if you have a standing relationship with your neighbors. If you have never spoken to your neighbors before, it is up to you to decide whether contacting them is the right move for you. Do not trespass or invite yourself into their home, as this can cause more harm than good.
If you are in the Seattle or Bellevue area and are looking for an emergency electrician who can help you and your home’s wiring, be sure to contact Merv Electric in Bellevue. We have decades of experience helping homeowners in Bellevue. Contact us today by calling 360-639-7965.