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Staying Safe during a Blackout

With the recent blackout striking areas such as San Diego and Southern California it is important that home owners know what to do if and when such a situation arises again.

According to San Diego Gas & Electric, the recent blackout, which originated in Arizona, could be down to the fact that Southern California have been experiencing consistently high temperatures in recent months. With more than 1.4 million homes without electricity and widespread traffic jams caused as a result, the issue of knowing what to do in such a situation may have been at the forefront of many peoples' minds.

Whether another such blackout will occur is not known; however, being prepared for such a likelihood will make the experience less stressful if a blackout does take place.

This article looks at the safety tips to put into place to ensure you are prepared.

Six Top Safety Tips for a Blackout:

1. Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.
2. Only use flashlights for your emergency lighting; never use candles.
3. Never run a generator inside your home or garage.
4. Avoid opening your freezer and refrigerator during a blackout.
5. Never connect your generator to your home's electrical system. Any equipment you want to power should be connected to the outlets located on your generator.
6. Always listen to your battery-powered radio or generator-powered television for updated information.

How to Prepare for a Blackout:

It is worthwhile having your emergency blackout kit prepared with your essential supplies, which should include:

• Flashlight
• Batteries
• A small supply of food
• A battery powered radio
• One gallon of water

Other considerations to think about:

Make sure that your vehicle tank is at least half full as gas stations often rely on electricity to power their pumps.

Take measures to keep your electricity usage low, which will help electrical companies avoid the implementation of rolling blackouts.

Fill plastic containers with water and place these inside your freezer and refrigerator. Don't fill them completely to the top as water expands when it freezes. However, the use of frozen or chilled water will keep food cold for several hours during a temporary blackout.

Make sure that your generator is always outside. In order to maintain you and your families safety you should never operate one inside, which also includes your garage and basement.

Avoid unnecessary travel, particularly by car. As with the recent blackout in Southern California and San Diego the traffic lights failed to work during the blackout, which caused a huge amount of traffic congestion.

How to Know When the Power is Back On:

A good way to know when the power has returned is to make sure you keep your television or one light on. This is the quickest way of finding out.

Even though blackouts are an occurrence that do happen from time to time that doesn't mean we should be caught out when they do happen. By taking the necessary safety measures and following these tips, every home owner can be better prepared when they experience a blackout for themselves.

After all, there's no need to get caught in the dark unexpectedly.

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