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How to Stay Safe During a Blackout


Thanks to our state's severe weather, including our summer thunderstorms, Florida has the worst electrical blackouts in the country. Fortunately, they don't usually last a long time, but can if there's a tropical disturbance that disrupts communications, closes businesses, and prevents use of medical devices. Here's what you need to know to remain safe during any blackout.

What to Do with Appliances

In case of a complete power failure due to a blackout, appliances and other devices will stop working. While inconvenient, it isn't necessarily harmful. But when the power comes back on the resulting power surge can damage appliances that were left turned on. When the power goes out, switch off or unplug lights, appliances, and other electronics like computers and televisions.

Once the power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning everything back on. Quality power strips with surge protectors are a good investment for computers and expensive electronics.

Fallen Power Line Dangers

Even neighborhoods with underground utilities can be affected by a downed power line, as many of them are fed by overhead lines. Live wires can be deadly so be sure to:

  • Avoid touching the downed line with your hand or an object like a stick or pole.
  • Avoid touching a car, equipment, or another person who's in contact with a downed power line.
  • Avoid driving over a fallen power line.
  • Keep children and pets away from a downed electrical line.

You should call 9-1-1 or your local utility company to report a downed line as soon as possible.

Test and Replace Those Batteries

Everyone should have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. It's always a good idea to regularly test them throughout the year to be sure they're in good working condition. When a blackout occurs, double check them to make sure they have batteries in them and press and hold the test button until you hear the alarm sound.

Practice Candle Safety

Candles are usually safe to use, but if you have pets or small children who like to run around, you might want to stick to battery operated lamps. If you do use candles:

  • Never leave them unattended. They should always be in sight.
  • Only use holders made especially for candles.
  • Do not place them near air currents, vents, or drafts.
  • Only burn them in well-ventilated rooms.

Invest in a Whole Home Generator

A whole house Generac backup generator automatically protects your home during a blackout. It runs on liquid propane or natural gas and sits outside your home just like your A/C unit does. A whole home generator is a great investment that is safe to use and keeps appliances and electronic devices running and the lights on during a blackout.

Unexpected blackouts can be frustrating and troublesome but can also pose serious safety issues, especially for those managing a chronic illness. To learn more about keeping your family and home safe when the lights go out, visit the Florida Department of Health's Hurricane and Severe Weather information page or contact David Gray Electrical Services today by contacting us online or calling us at (904) 605-8190.