It’s been a super mild winter but it’s not over yet. Then again, power can go out at any time for any reason. Don’t you think it’s a good time to review preparedness and safety rules BEFORE you need to put them into practice?
Powerful storms can knock down tree limbs and power lines, causing the electricity to go out. Treat any downed power lines as “live” and do not touch them. Remember to keep children and pets away from any power lines. Be certain to report any downed power lines or poles to your power company immediately. Call 9-1-1 if you see a wire that is sparking or touching a building.
Only use generators outdoors. The fumes contain carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that can quickly cause carbon monoxide poisoning and overwhelm you. Follow these generator tips to keep yourself safe:
- Make sure your home has working battery powered or electric CO detectors with battery backup.
- Read the owner’s manual and follow the directions.
- Place the generator outside, well away from doors, windows, and vents. Use manufacturer supplied cords or grounded extension cords.
- Generators need ventilation. Never place a working generator in the garage.
- Choose an area that is dry. Coming in contact with water can cause electrocution.
- Never smoke while fueling a generator.
- Add fuel before you turn it on. Turn it off and let it cool down before refueling.
- Connect the generator with heavy-duty extension cords designed for outside use. Never use cords that are fraying or broken.
- Include a supply of prepared foods in your emergency kit that don’t have to be cooked. Only use camp stoves or barbecue grills outdoors.