Power outages can make you prone to the risk of a fire in your home.
Home fires are a devastating event that’s often related to power outages. No homeowner would want to be in a position where they are likely to put their family and themselves in danger. Luckily there are precautions that you can take which will highly decrease your chances of experiencing a house fire in the event of a power outage.
The following list contains 11 tips that should be used as precautions against fires during power outages:
Tip #1: Everyone in the household should know what to do in case of a fire emergency. Have a plan ready for any emergency situation and practise the plan to ensure everyone’s safety.
Tip #2: Ensure that all of the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in your home are battery-powered. Alarms which are not battery-powered will not work during power outages.
Tip #3: If a flood occurs, electrical equipment can become extremely dangerous. Electrical current travels through water and you can be electrocuted when you come in contact with the water. Be very cautious in dangerous situations such as floods and power outages.
Tip #4: When the power goes out it is best to use battery-powered lanterns and flashlights as light sources. These are the best options for light sources because candles, hurricane lamps, and other alternatives using flames can be unreliable and dangerous. If it is necessary to use candles, make sure to cover them with a glass chimney.
Tip #5: When purchasing a power generator for use during power outages, look for recognized approval labels on their packaging. The generator also must have circuit breakers and the right connection receptacle for your electrical outlets.
Tip #6: Have easy access to a cordless phone, such as a cell phone, during a power outage. Anything that is electrically-operated will not work during a power outage.
Tip #7: During power outages, unplug or turn off all home appliances from electrical outlets. This is done to prevent the start of a fire when the power is back on.
Tip #8: Never use a portable generator indoors. These devices are designed for outdoor use and you shouldn’t have the exhaust fumes entering your home. Generators should be refueled outdoors as well. Its fuel should be stored in a secure and approved container outdoors. Before refueling the generator let it cool down. The manufacturer’s instructions should be followed for all procedures.
Tip #9: Never use a charcoal or propane barbecue indoors. Using them indoors puts you at risk of causing a house fire or becoming susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning. These appliances are designed for outdoor use and should never be brought indoors.
Tip #10: Space heaters should be used indoors only if they are meant for indoor use. When using a space heater make sure that there is proper ventilation by opening a window. Heaters should be allowed to cool down before being refueled and should only be refueled outdoors.
Tip #11: The Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services website contains extensive information on what to do in emergency situations.