An Emergency Guide: How to Handle a Power Outage

3 April, 2023
An emergency guide: How to handle a power outage

These days, storms seem to be getting stronger, rainfalls are getting heavier, and severe temperatures are becoming increasingly common, all of which are factors that can contribute to an increase in power outages.

A power outage can take place at any time and anywhere. When it does occur, it can affect a single house, building, neighbourhood, or even an entire city. It could last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.

Power failures can occur in an electrical network for various reasons, but the most typical causes of outages are issues with either the power lines or the distribution stations.

In most cases, a power outage occurs due to freezing rain, sleet storms, or high winds. These kinds of extreme weather can damage power lines directly or result in trees falling and knocking out power lines. Occasionally, cold snaps and heat waves can also overload an electric power system, leading to outages.

Not only are such outages inconvenient, but they can also pose certain safety risks for you and your family depending on when they take place and how long they last for.

When the power goes out, you may not have heating/air conditioning, lighting, hot water, or even running water for the duration of the outage. You may not have phone service either if you only have access to landline-based phones. Being without these utilities may not be a huge concern for brief periods of time. However, the longer the outage lasts, the more challenging it will become.

What to Do in the Event of a Power Outage

The key to getting through a power outage, especially a long-lasting one, is to be prepared ahead of time. There are many things that you can do to lessen the impact that an outage has on you and your family, including the following:

1. Determine the extent of the outage

The first thing to do when your power goes out is to confirm that it is actually a power outage and not just a blown fuse or a burnt-out light bulb. If there is just a part of your home without power, chances are higher that it is an internal electrical issue.

It is best to unplug any appliances that may be overloaded, reset your Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) switch, and inspect your electrical panel to see if any breakers have been tripped. If your neighbours have power, but you do not, the problem could be that your main breaker may have been tripped and needs to be reset.

2. Find a light source

If you have any flashlights or candles, use them as a light source until the power returns. Using the flashlight on your smartphone may be tempting, but it is best to conserve your phone battery if you do not know how long the power will be out. That way, if you need it to contact anyone in the event of an emergency situation, you will not have to worry.

3. Report the outage

If you believe there is a power outage and you have confirmed that it is not just your house that has been affected, it is essential to notify your electric supply authority of the outage as soon as possible. Once they know the situation, they can plan to get the power back up and running.

Never assume that one of the neighbours has already reported the outage. If everyone thinks that and nobody calls, you may be left without power for much longer than necessary.

4. Unplug your electronics

It is important to unplug or turn off all tools, appliances, and electronics in your house during a power outage. This is because when the power comes back on, it could create a power surge, damaging your sensitive appliances or electronics.

Additionally, having too many large appliances plugged in when the power returns could trip your electrical breakers. It is also a good idea to switch off all the lights, leaving just one inside your house and one outside so that both you and the hydro crews are aware when the power comes back on again.

5. Keep your fridge and freezer closed

One of the biggest concerns you may face during a power outage is having food go bad in your fridge or freezer. However, you can delay or possibly prevent this problem by keeping your fridge and freezer closed.

Your refrigerator will likely be able to maintain its cold temperature for roughly four hours if it is not opened. If your freezer is full, it can typically maintain its temperature for about 48 hours. If the power outage lasts longer than either of these times, it is best to discard any foods you suspect may have spoiled.

6. Contact a qualified electrician

Although the steps mentioned above should help minimize the risk of issues related to a power surge, it is possible that it may still have a negative impact on your home’s electrical system.

If you are ever uncertain or notice any electrical problems following an outage, the best thing you can do is contact a professional for emergency electrical services in Toronto. A qualified electrician will be able to inspect your home to isolate the issue and find a solution on the spot.

How Hi-Lite Electric Can Help in the Event of a Power Outage

If you experience a power outage and require emergency electrical services in Toronto, contact Hi-Lite Electric Inc. We can send a professionally trained and qualified electrician to take care of your issue immediately.

Our electrician will begin by thoroughly inspecting your home to find the source of the issue and to ascertain whether there are any other electrical problems. Then, they will devise a targeted plan for returning your home’s electrical system to a safe and functioning order.

Our electricians are always equipped with all of the essential equipment they need to provide you with a solution without any unnecessary delays, no matter what the problem seems to be. We are committed to providing top-quality customer service so that all our clients are completely satisfied.

For more information about our emergency electrical services or to learn about our other services, call Hi-Lite Electric Inc. at 416-800-5536 (in Toronto), 289-236-1333 (in York), or 289-236-1347 (in Peel), or contact us here.

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