Winter storms can pose many risks to safety, especially when electricity is affected. With heavy snowfall, winds, and ice, downed trees can damage power lines, causing loss of power and heat in homes.
Establishing an emergency plan while properly maintaining and preparing your home, vehicles, and equipment can help keep your family safe in the event of a dangerous winter storm. SafeElectricity.org, ESFi and OSHA outline several ways to you can prepare:
Create a Family Disaster Plan and emergency kit that includes:
• Drinking water and non-perishable food items.
• Blankets and extra warm clothing.
• First Aid kit and any prescription medications.
• Battery-powered flashlights, radios, and extra batteries.
• Phone charging pack.
Preparing your home, vehicles, and equipment:
• Service all snow removal equipment and ensure that it is readily available for use. Make sure snow blowers are properly grounded, guarded, and fully disconnected from power to avoid electrical shocks.
• Keep your vehicle’s fuel tank full for emergency use, and make sure the fuel line doesn’t freeze. You may also want to keep an extra can of fuel on hand.
• Unplug appliances and turn off light switches to avoid surges when the power comes back on.
• Do not use old space heaters, portable generators, or gas ovens in the home as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your carbon monoxide sensors are also functioning properly.
• If using portable generators, keep them outside the home or garage and make sure to avoid electrical shocks by using a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
• Close the doors to unused rooms and cover windows at night to help keep heat in the home.
• Avoid any fallen power lines. Even if the line does not appear active, it could still be conducting power.
For more information on preparing for electrical dangers caused by winter storms, contact us at (856) 769-3932.