Precautions Needed During Power Outage

first_img Be sure battery-powered detectors and alarms have fresh batteries and are in good working condition. Using candles is not recommended, but if you must use them, make sure they are properly supported — use a non-combustible container that is larger than the candle. Keep materials at least half a metre (two feet) away from candles. Extinguish all candles before leaving the room. Put the correct fuel in portable appliances like Coleman stoves or oil lamps. Substituting fuels is extremely dangerous. Propane and liquid camp stoves are for outdoor use only. Space heaters create carbon monoxide. Ensure they are used in rooms with good ventilation and placed on a flat hard surface to prevent tipping. Do not leave the units unattended. If using a portable, unvented kerosene heater, it is vital to open a window one inch or keep a door ajar to another room to provide safe ventilation, especially if the room is less than 150 square feet. Generators should be operated in well ventilated locations outdoors away from doors, windows and vent openings. They should be placed so that exhaust fumes cannot enter the home through windows, doors or other building openings. Generators must be certified and connected to the electrical system of a house by a construction electrician. They should be used to power equipment such as lights, portable electric heaters and a water pump and other equipment that may be connected directly by plug to the generator. As always, if you have an emergency call 911. Long-term power outages can also affect food safety. Officials from the Department of Agriculture suggest consumers be careful about foods in refrigerators or deep freeze units. Foods will generally stay safe in a refrigerator for several hours even without power, especially if the door is kept closed. The Department of Agriculture offers the following food safety tips: Perishable food that has reached room temperature for more than two hours must be discarded. Also discard any food that feels warm or has an unusual odour or colour. Any food in a deep freeze that is fully stocked is good for two days from the time of power failure. Any food in a half-filled deep freeze is safe to eat for one day from the time of power failure. Food retail outlets are advised to keep food below 4 C (40 F). Any perishable food left above this temperature for more than two hours should be discarded immediately. For further information on food safety, call 1-877-252-3663 or check the website at www.gov.ns.ca/agri/foodsafety/factsht/ . The Department of Environment advises that municipal water utilities are continuing to supply water that is safe for human consumption. For people who have their own well, if it is damaged in any way or there is doubt about water quality, the best policy is to boil the water for at least one minute before consuming and to have the well tested as soon as possible. For more information on power outages in specific neighbourhoods, call 902-428-6004 or 1-877-428-6004. Remember that many people are calling this number. Do not hang up; calls are taken in the order they are received. -30- In the wake of power outages linked to Hurricane Bill, the Emergency Management Office (EMO) and provincial officials are reminding Nova Scotians to use extra caution in and outside their homes. People are reminded to stay away from downed power lines and to be particularly aware of dangers in places serviced only by electric-powered smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, which will not work during outages. “It is important people respect all weather warnings and listen to other safety advice while this storm impacts our province,” said Ramona Jennex, Minister of Emergency Management. “This storm is bringing very strong winds with it, and that means possible flooding, power outages and storm surges.” The fire marshal offers the following safety tips: last_img

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