Consumer News

Simple steps to take to keep your home, family safe

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Many residents who lost electricity are depending on small generators for portable heaters. Others are huddling around the fireplace to keep warm.

And authorities say don't be in a big rush to plug everything back in once the power does come back on.

Many people say they have never been through anything like this, and they have a lot of questions about how to protect themselves and their homes.

The Miller family may look like they're having a cozy slumber party, and the kids are enjoying it, but Dad, not so much.

"The power went out around 7:00 yesterday morning," said Kent Miller. "It's been difficult and cold, dealing with children and no conveniences or comforts."

It isn't easy, but there are some simple steps you need to take to keep your loved ones and your home safe.

Right after the power goes out, turn off and unplug all appliances including your furnace, water heater, and water pump as well as electrical devices.

"Your computer especially, because when the power comes back on, it would be best not to have that sudden jolt of electricity to your appliances," warns Jenny Robinson from AAA Mid-Atlantic.

If the indoor temperature drops to 55 degrees Fahrenheit or below, open your faucets slightly so they constantly drip to prevent pipes from freezing.

Once power is restored, wait a few minutes and then plug appliances back in one at a time. Time to talk generators.

Karen Ganley bought hers 10 years ago. It is getting a lot of use, and her neighbors are glad she has it.

"A couple of them were over yesterday - the moms and the tots - and everybody was warm and toasty and we had a good day," said Karen.

Some important reminders about generators:

*Do NOT run a generator inside a home or garage.
*Use gas-powered generators only in well-ventilated areas.
*Do NOT plug emergency generators into electric outlets or hook them directly to your home's electrical system.
*Connect only individual appliances to portable generators.

And here's what you need to know about insurance claims.

"With tree damage, if something happens to your property, you go to your homeowner's insurance. If your tree falls into your neighbor's property, then your neighbor files with their insurance," said Robinson.

Links:
https://midatlantic.aaa.com/PGA/NewsReleases
https://www.peco.com/SafetyandEducation/GasandElectricitySafety/Pages/default.aspx
http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/power-outage
http://www.flash.org/

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power outage, severe weather, lifestyle, consumer news
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