The Friedman Blog

Posted on 08/29/2011, by Jeremy Edsall

Be Smart After A Storm Has Passed

  • Once a storm has past you may find that you are without electric.  In fact the electric may have gone out during the storm while you were in the process of doing something like cooking. When power is restored the stove will come back on posing a fire hazard.  Be aware of these risks, especially if you do not anticipate being home when power is restored. 
  • While power is out many turn to the use of generators for backup power. You need to be familiar with the manufacturer’s directions for use and follow the instructions closely.  Be careful handling and dispensing and storing gasoline used to power generators.  Do not operate indoors, inside a garage, shed, basement or other enclosed structure. Even if windows are left open this will not be adequate enough to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide gasses.  Follow directions for using cords and plugs, extension cords should be free from damage and rated for outdoor use.  If you are insure as to how to properly use a generator consult a licensed electrician. Your generator size will determine what it will be able to power, do not expect it to power your entire home, all its appliances and lights. 
  • Many states building codes require the use of hard wired smoke detectors; if you do not have power you may not have smoke detectors either.  Some smoke detectors do have battery backup, but you should consider using both electric and battery powered detectors in cases where power goes out.
  • Try to use flashlights and battery powered lanterns to provide light instead of candles.  If you do use candles make sure they are not left unattended and are extinguished when leaving the room or going to sleep.  Jar candles or candles inside a glass or ceramic container are preferable to candlesticks that can easily topple over.  Candles should be used to provide light for a room and not carried from room to room.
  • Do not use camp stoves, gas or charcoal grills indoors these can produce carbon monoxide which can quickly become lethal.  Watch children and pets around any cooking device so that they do not become burned or cause the device to topple over.
  • Use caution when inspecting for damage around your home. Wear protective foot wear and gloves. Exercise caution when using hand or chain saws to cut fallen trees or limbs.  Many surfaces will be wet and slippery after a storm, including roofs and ladders.  Clean up and repairs should be made once the storm has passed and things have dried out.

Adapted from: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Isabel - Newport News Fire Department


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