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Preparing Your Home

You can minimize the inconvenience - and safety hazards - of a power outage by following these suggestions to protect your home.

Know your service panel and utility shut-offs

It’s a good idea to know how to shut off the power to your house using the main fuse or breaker at the service panel, and how to shut off water and gas supply lines.

If a severe storm hits, your local disaster officials may instruct you to shut off the utilities to avoid further damage or injuries.

Maintain fireplaces and wood-burning stoves

A wood-burning fireplace or stove is a great way to keep warm during a winter power outage, but it’s important to keep it in good working order so it’s ready before a storm arrives.

Clean out the fire box often and make sure the damper is operating correctly. Have the chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional chimney sweep on a regular basis.

If you plan to use a fireplace or wood-burning stove during an outage, be sure to crack open a window on the opposite side of the room to allow for adequate air circulation. Operating a fireplace in an enclosed room could cause carbon monoxide problems.

Install surge protectors

A lightning strike or downed power line can send a damaging surge of electricity through your home. Surge protectors are a great investment to protect your electronics and appliances.

A surge protector will stop the damaging surge of power before it gets to your expensive electronic devices, such as stereos, televisions and computers.

Once a storm arrives, it’s too late to protect your electronics and appliances from a power surge. Be sure to plug all your valuable electronics into a high-quality surge protector before a storm arrives.