August 2013 - Code Compliance

Fire Safety Tips During a Power Outage

August 1, 2013

There are several safety measures a home owner can do to reduce the risk of fire during a power outage.

Hard-wired smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms will not work when the power is out.   By installing hard-wired smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms equipped with battery backup, detection will not be disrupted during a power outage.  Additional battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms can also be installed to provide early warning of fire and carbon monoxide.

During a power outage, all electrical appliances and electronic devices should be shut off or unplugged to prevent a fire from starting when the electricity is restored.

Many cordless telephones do not work when the power is out, so it is recommended to have at least one telephone that does not require electricity to operate.

Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns instead of candles. If using candles, place them in a secure holder and cover them with a glass chimney.

Do not bring propane and charcoal barbecues that are intended for outdoor use inside. Use only portable gas appliances that are approved and certified for indoor use, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Provide adequate ventilation by opening a window slightly when operating a portable gas appliance indoors. Always turn off the heater, wait for it to cool and take the appliance outside to refuel.

Portable generators should only be operated outdoors in a location that will ensure exhaust fumes do not enter the home. Only refuel the generator outside after it has cooled, by following the manufacturer’s instructions.  Store the fuel in approved containers, outside the home.