A power outage can be a trying experience, especially for a busy household that relies on power for safety, health and comfort. Wisconsin weather can wreak havoc in the winter, which includes extended power outages (in addition to the negative impact ice and snow can have on homes). Whether your home experiences an outage from a weather-related problem, or something tied to your electrical system, you should always be prepared to act. The experts at Roman Electric are here to offer some practical guidance in case of a blackout. It’s always good to have a plan in place, so takes these steps in the event of an outage:

Find the Cause of the Outage

  • Outages happen for a variety of reasons ranging from winter storms to animals chewing on wires, and identifying the cause is key.
  • First, check your electrical panel for any tripped switches.
  • Contact neighbors to see if the outage is a neighborhood issue. If so, the electric company should be contacted.
  • If you see a downed power-line, report it to the authorities via non-emergency number.

Use Only Flashlights and Lamps for Light

  • During an outage, rely on flashlights and battery-operated lamps instead of candles for light.
  • Use your flashlights efficiently; don’t leave them on, and only light up the areas you need.
  • If your flashlight or lamp requires batteries that you do not have, try using batteries from other electronics such as TV remotes or digital cameras.
  • If you absolutely must use candles, then use them sparingly – and keep them from curtains, furniture or any place in the home that might catch fire.

Unplug All Electrical Appliances

  • Multiple devices and appliances may have been turned on before an outage and should be turned off before the power comes back on.
  • Unplugging your appliances prevents both electrical overloads and power surges when your lights come back on, saving your appliances from being damaged.
  • Turn down your thermostat as well to protect your HVAC system from receiving a power surge.
  • Be sure to leave one light on to let you know when power has been restored. 

Use Your Refrigerator Efficiently

  • With perishables in your fridge and freezer, you must be careful to keep them from spoiling.
  • By keeping the doors closed, refrigerators retain their cooling for about 4 hours with no power, while a freezer retains its temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Only open the fridge and freezer doors when necessary and eat perishable foods first, after which you can begin eating non-perishables.
  • You can transfer items from the fridge to the freezer to preserve them longer but do this sparingly to maintain temperature.

Stay Warm Through Clothing

  • During an outage in the cold, sweaters and blankets are your best friend.
  • Insulated blankets and thick sweaters provide optimal comfort without heating and helps lessen the severity of the Wisconsin cold.
  • Do not attempt to use charcoal or your oven as a source of heat, as this can cause fires and even lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Depending on the length of an outage, you may be required to relocate to a different area, as the severity of the cold in your home will increase the longer the power is out.

Following these steps in case of a power outage will help keep you and your family safe, especially during the worst of our winter weather. If a power outage has caused a surge and damaged any part of your electrical system, contact Roman Electric today. We are dedicated to keeping Wisconsin homeowners safe, and our complete electrical services are performed with attention to detail and superior customer service. Give us a call at 414-369-3798 to schedule an appointment and meet your trusted technicians.