Most of us have dealt with a few power outages in our time, and for the most part these are annoying and often frustrating events. It’s important to note, however, that power outages may also be potentially dangerous if not managed correctly, and there are a few things you should do if a building you own or manage undergoes one.
At Orange Electric, our commercial and residential electricians are here to help if you need some pointers in this area. There are two real elements you need to be aware of here: How to prepare your home or building properly for a potential power outage, plus how to respond in cases where they take place. Let’s go over both.
Preparing for Power Outages
While preparing a simple plan for a power outage is something we’ll leave to individual homeowners and business owners, there are a couple larger devices you might consider purchasing to prepare for the possibility of power outages:
- Surge protectors: Power surges are some of the primary causes of outages, and they can create significant property damage if they aren’t stopped from spreading throughout the building. If you have a whole-home surge protector in your house, however, you won’t deal with these risks. Even if whole-home options aren’t realistic, consider individual surge protectors for important appliances.
- Lightning arresters: A lighting arrester is a device that protects the insulation and conductors in case of a lightning strike.
- Generators: If you’re in a situation where even a temporary power outage will severely damage your business or some other area, consider purchasing portable or standby generators as backups. These can kick in and provide emergency power in cases where an outage can’t be fixed immediately.
Responding to Power Outages
Power outages can result from surges due to storms and other similar weather events, or they may be due to problems with the local supplier. In either case, they often show up out of the blue and generally can’t be predicted. Here are several tips to handle them properly:
- Turn off appliances: During storms or damage-related incidents like power lines coming down, certain appliances may be dangerous or become damaged by power resurgences.
- One common sign of this risk is power flickering on and off several times during the outage. In these cases, shut off your appliances as soon as possible.
- Avoid water: Water conducts electricity, and you should therefore avoid any standing water or flooding that takes place during a storm if an outage also takes place.
- Reaching out: Whether it’s a cell phone or another communication device, once you’re safe you should begin attempting to collect information on the outage and when it might be resolved.
- Temperature: If an outage lingers for several hours during a cold period, remember that your home’s HVAC system will lose its power. Ensure you have proper clothing and materials no matter what season it is.
For more on preparing for and responding to power outages, or to learn about any of our electrical services, contact the pros at Orange Electric today.