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What to Do After A Power Outage

Recently, I was caught in the middle of a power outage. It wasn’t entirely unexpected since the good people at SoCal Edison were good enough to notify us about a week before. But, since I’m not used to living without power, I wasn’t surprised to learn that I didn’t know what to do in case a sudden power outage occurred. I did some research and there is plenty to do when your home or neighborhood goes dark, especially for periods longer than 2 hours. If there is any damage due to a downed power line and you’re worried about your home electrical system, call a Los Angeles electrician to check it out.

You’ll want to turn off your lights and unplug your electronics. If and when the power goes on, the sudden surge may overload your appliances and other electronics and cause some serious damage. Once the power goes back up, feel free to plug anything back in. If you have a carbon monoxide detector, don’t worry. Those tend to have a backup battery for situations just like these.

If the power is out for longer than 2 hours, go ahead and trash any foods whose temperatures are higher than 40°F. Perishable items need to stay cooled and if they sit out in room temperature for more than 4 hours, check their temperature. Food in your freezer will stay good for up to 24 hours or 48 hours if full. Don’t open the freezer door unnecessarily.

Power outages can occur at any time and occur more often when your home is drawing too much power, especially in these heat waves that Los Angeles seems to keep having. In case the power does go, you’ll have to seek out a Laundromat or make like an Amish and wash your clothes by hand. But to prevent another power outage, wash your clothes in cold water if possible, since it requires more power to heat water. Only wash full loads and clean the dryer’s lint trap after each use. Your machine works harder if the lint trap is clogged. The same advice applies to your dishwasher, minus the lint trap. Once the wash cycle is done, allow your dishes to air dry.

You’ll want to replace any incandescent light bulbs with their more energy efficient brethren, compact fluorescent lights. They draw less power and give out a brighter light. Also, if you want to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, use generators, pressure washers, grills, and such outside.