What to Do When the Power Goes Out

August 24, 2020

From summer storms to winter blizzards, severe weather can strike at any time of the year, bringing the possibility of a power outage. Even in the best of weather, power can get interrupted.

Most power outages will be over almost as soon as they begin. However depending on the cause, some can last much longer.

Here are tips for staying safe when the power goes out.

  • First, check to see if the outage is limited to your home. If your neighbors’ power is still on, check your own circuit breaker panel or fuse box. If the problem is not a breaker or a fuse, check the service wires leading to the house. If they are obviously damaged or on the ground, stay away and notify the power company.
  • Turn off all lights, except for one so you know when power has been restored.
  • Use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns for lighting. If you must use candles, make sure they are in proper holders. Never leave lit candles unattended and keep them out of reach of children. Always extinguish candles before going to bed.
  • Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and shut off the thermostat to prevent damage to your air conditioner or heater from a power surge when service is restored. Also, electricity can be restored more easily when there is not a heavy load on the system.
  • Unplug sensitive electrical appliances such as TVs, computers and DVD players to protect them from a power surge when electricity comes back on. You can also protect them by using a surge-protector.
  • Don’t open your freezer or fridge unless it is necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.
  • Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping ​​heating equipment, or home generators indoors. They give off carbon monoxide, which can cause health problems and is life-threatening.
  • Make sure your home has a working carbon monoxide detector. If it is hard-wired to the house’s electrical supply, ensure it has a battery-powered back-up.
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio for information on the outage and advice from authorities.

You’ll find a lot more information about how to protect yourself before, during and after a power outage on our website at www.firstenergycorp.com.