The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Features

December 28, 2013

Is Your Home Ready for a Power Outage?

Saturday, December 28, 2013 — (StatePoint) Being prepared for winter means more than just stocking up on Vitamin C. It also means making sure your home is ready for the onslaught of cooler weather and potential power outages.

Whether it’s just windy and blustery, or there’s an ice storm or blizzard, wicked weather can cause all sorts of damage or power outages.

One of the most important things you can do to ensure a safe, happy and healthy winter is equip your home with a portable generator, which can serve as a useful back up during an emergency or when a power source isn’t available.

Don’t forget, with great power comes great responsibility. When using a generator, keep these tips in mind:

• Always read and follow the manufacturer’s operating manual and instructions before running a generator.

• Engines emit carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless and odorless poisonous gas. Don’t run a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, basements, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation.

Locate the unit outside and direct its exhaust away from doors, windows, vents and other openings to reduce the risk of CO from accumulating and potentially being drawn towards occupied spaces. Install a CO detector in your home.

• Connect electrically powered items to the generator using heavy-duty extension cords specifically designed for outdoor use. Ensure the wattage rating for each cord exceeds the total wattage of all appliances connected to it. Check that the entire length of each cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs. Coiled cords can get hot, so always uncoil cords and lay them in flat open locations.

Connections for standby power to a home’s electrical system must use a listed transfer switch and be installed by an electrician. The connection must isolate the generator power from the utility power.

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