What to Do When the Power Goes Out.

Whether or not we’re headed for more and more severe weather remains to be seen. All we know for sure is that we’re susceptible to it, and need to take proper precautions to protect family, home, and belongings.

At the same time, you don’t need an oncoming hurricane or other force of nature to alter your daily life and put yourself in harm’s way. A simple tree branch landing on a power line can leave you in the dark, and while most outages only last a few hours, some can last days and even weeks. So, to ensure you’re prepared the next time the power goes out, here are 7 things you shouldn’t do during an outage.

Don’t assume it’s wide-spread. Before knocking on your neighbor’s doors and contacting the utility company, make sure it’s not just a tripped circuit breaker. If it’s not specific to your house, check to see if your neighbors lost power, and if so, give the utility company a heads up by any means available.

Don’t use real candles. Stock up on LED candles plus flashlights and batteries – you can safely employ to keep your home illuminated.

Don’t leave electronics plugged in. When the power goes out, unplug larger electronics like televisions and computers, and turn off smaller ones like lamps and gaming systems. Once power is restored, a power surge could occur that can overload your home’s circuits or fry your electronics.

Don’t open the fridge or freezer unless you have to. If left unopened, your fridge can maintain food-safe temperatures for up to 4 hours, and your freezer can keep food from spoiling for up to two days.

Don’t bring the grill indoors. Resist the temptation to grill dinner indoors on a chilly evening. Gas and charcoal grills give off fumes that need to be properly vented to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Don’t go near puddles or pools of water. You never know if a downed power line is lurking beneath the surface.

Don’t ignore the temperature inside your home. If you have a power outage during warm weather months, dress in lightweight, breathable clothing, close blinds to south-facing windows, and crack windows open to promote air circulation. During colder months, keep warm with extra layers of clothing and blankets, close doors to rooms that aren’t in use, and block drafty windows and doors with blankets and towels. If it gets too hot or too cold in your home, seek shelter elsewhere if it’s safe to do so.

If a power outage results in odd behavior from your heating or cooling system – or a total shutdown – once power is restored, contact Optimum Air for the prompt and thorough customer service we’re known for. We’ll start by investigating the cause of a damage, which could stem from a power surge or lightning strike, among numerous other possibilities. You also can count on a guaranteed upfront price quote to repair the damage.