Now what?? It is dark and everyone is wondering what just happened.
After having a friend loose their house to a fire, do to a power outage, I got to thinking about what steps we should take when the power goes out, especially at night.
First, remember Safety First, being a Safety Coordinator I had to throw that in. The first thing I train everybody about power outages is to stop, if it is dark you want to let your eyes adjust to the darkness. The world is somehow different when it is suddenly dark.
Next, take your time and use your hands and feet as sensors feeling your way to safely get the family together and/or to find a flashlight
or candle. Try to make sure you plan ahead and always keep a flashlight in a certain spot (hanging in the kitchen by the garbage can)so you will be able to find it, remember you are in the dark. I don’t know about you but I can’t find stuff in the light sometimes.
Ok, now that everyone is together and safe, if you have kids have them sit at the table or on the floor together so you will know where they are. Maybe give them a flashlight and give them something to do, like “Spin the flashlight”, lay the flashlight on the floor and who ever the flashlight stops on has to tell a story or joke. Or anything that will keep them calm and safe, you don’t want them felling down the stairs or falling over a toy and getting hurt.
Now, you have some things to check on.
- Go around and turn all the light switches off, except one. Maybe the one where the kids are, they will let you know if it comes back on or one centrally located.
- Unplug TV’s, small appliances, DVD players, stereos & anything electronic.
- In the Kitchen you want to make sure the stove and oven are off and don’t forget to make sure the stove hood is off, if you have one. Remove any pot or pan from the stove, if it is electric, you don’t want things to start cooking again. That could be a fire hazard.
- Unplug any space heaters.
By doing these things you are preventing anything from happening to your stuff should there be a power surge, when the power is restored. Even if you have a surge protector it may not save everything. Today’s electronics are very sensitive and you don’t want to worry about them being compromised in the event of a power surge.
If you choose to use candles make sure they are in good hands and are sitting in a safe spot, away from curtains, clothes, toys, etc. Maybe even set them on a plate to catch any wax drips.
Before going to bed double check to make sure all the candles are out, everything is turned off, especially in the kitchen. If the power comes back on while you sleep, it could be on for hours before you know it and it may be too late when you find out.
Power outages should be something we plan for but hope we never have to endure.
Stay Safe Everyone!
Here’s a couple other safety articles you might find as interesting as I did: