How to Stay Safe - And Connected - During Power Outage - NBC4 Washington

Historic Storm Pounds East Coast

How to Stay Safe - And Connected - During Power Outage



    (Published Monday, Oct. 29, 2012)

    When the power goes out there are many safety concerns to consider, especially with things like smoke detectors, phones and generators.

    Most folks will rely on cell phones if the power goes out, so make sure they are fully charged.

    If you have a landline phone that comes with your Internet service, remember when the power goes out there may be battery backup -- but not for long.  You will lose phone service.

    If you have a landline phone from the phone company, you should still have phone service when you lose electricity.  But if you only have cordless phones connected, those won’t work during a power outage. You need an old-fashioned, hardwired phone with a cord.

    Insurance and Generator Safety

    [DC] Insurance and Generator Safety
    Liz Crenshaw reports on generator safety and homeowners insurance v. flood insurance.
    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012)

    When it comes to losing power, using candles can be dangerous. Fire officials say flashlights are the best choice during an outage. Make sure you have extra batteries.

    If you must use candles, don't leave them burning unattended, and keep them away from curtains, clothing and books.

    In the case of a fire, hardwired smoke detectors will not work if you lose electricity. The same goes for hardwired carbon monoxide detectors. So keep a working battery backup of both of those devices.

    With all the severe weather we've seen in recent years, a lot of people have invested in portable generators. If you plan on using a portable generator, you must use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord to feed the electrical equipment you want to operate. An overloaded power cord can potentially start a fire.

    Remember, never use your generator indoors or even outside near a window or vent or air intake. Every year people die from carbon monoxide poisoning from running generators, and we've seen local deaths in recent storms.

    While it's important to keep generators dry, don't use a generator in a garage or under a porch.