Living in your home during a power outage can be a very dangerous time. Use extreme care when working with alternative sources of energy. Below, you will find a list of some of the items that warrant caution when you are using them in your home during a power outage.
Alternative Energy Sources
Fireplaces & Wood Stoves
when using fireplaces and wood stoves in place of regular sources of heat be sure to use them appropriately. Use only the intended fuel and never use charcoal briquettes in a fireplace. Similarly, keep your fireplace well-maintained and in good condition in preparation for use during an emergency. For more tips on fireplace and woodstove safety, visit our safety tips page.
When using portable heaters, be sure to follow all of the manufacturer's directions and safety warnings and use only the recommended fuel. Keep all combustibles away from the heater to prevent accidental fires. See more safety information on portable heaters.
Never use grills or camp stoves intended for outdoor use within your home or garage. The fumes and smoke emitted when these items are in use are potentially deadly within the confines of your home. Only use such items outside and away from any open windows and doors. If you have a gas stove or oven, never use it to heat your home in the event of a power outage; it too may pose a deadly risk due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Never run a generator inside your home or garage. Keep the generator safely outside, at least five feet from your home. Do not run the generator directly underneath or next to open windows or doors as unsafe fumes may invade your home. Never overload a generator by running more items than it can safely handle and always use the proper size power cords for the appliances powered. Be sure to read all the manufacturer's instructions and safety directions for your brand of generator.
Candles pose a tremendous fire hazard and should only be used with extreme caution. Keep candles away from all combustibles and in a secure location where they cannot be bumped or knocked over. Be sure that they are securely held in a non-combustible holder designed for use with candles. Never leave candles burning in a unoccupied room or while no one is at home.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is a deadly by-product of any type of incomplete combustion. All the items listed above may produce deadly levels of this gas. If you use any of these items under any circumstances you need a carbon monoxide detector. See more information about carbon monoxide detectors.