What to Do When Your Power Goes Out
April 26, 2023
Losing power can lead to an uncomfortable home in any season, but power loss can be especially dangerous in the winter months. Know what to do when your power goes out by following this guide.
Check the Circuit Breakers
When you notice a power outage, the first thing you should do is check your home’s circuit breakers. If you notice one or more breakers switched off, move them back into the on position. If that doesn’t have an effect, turn the main breaker off and then back on.
Keep in mind that mapping out your circuit breakers and their corresponding rooms in advance can save you time during a power issue. If you know which breaker leads to which room, you can address any individually tripped breakers in seconds rather than minutes.
Get Update from the Utility Company
If your home still doesn’t receive power after switching the main breaker off and on, call your local utility company. Report the outage and find out whether the utility is already aware of a more widespread outage in your area. If you spot downed power lines in your neighborhood, inform the utility company about that, too. Whatever you do, don’t get near or touch any downed lines.
You can also use your mobile device to check to see if there are any power outages in your area by visiting the map online through Rocky Mountain Power.
Once you’ve reported the outage, your next step should be to unplug all of your major appliances.
Disconnect your TV, computer, stereo equipment, and any other electronic appliances. When your power goes out, the return of power to your home, the surge can damage or even incapacitate electronics. Use a lamp or an overhead light to confirm when the power is back on in your home.
Use Battery-Operated Devices
In the absence of electricity, you’ll need to rely on battery-operated radios or televisions for updates on the power outage. Do your best to limit your radio or phone time in order to preserve the battery. For light, use flashlights, headlamps, and battery-operated lamps instead of candles or devices with open flames. Not only should this provide more light, but it will also keep you safe from fire hazards.
During the winter months, it’s important to stay warm, especially if you don’t know how long the power outage will last. Collect sweaters, coats, scarves, and other warm clothing, and layer with blankets as necessary. If your home has a wood stove or a fireplace, use it as normal and gather around to stay warm. Refrain from using heaters designed for outdoor use inside, as they can quickly fill your home with dangerous gases, making your home an unsafe place to be.
Use a Generator
To provide your home with enough power to generate heat or keep medical devices running, use a backup generator. Confirm that it will automatically disconnect from the main power grid, and consult with an electrician to ensure it’s set up safely for use during a power outage.
Last Updated: September 18, 2023