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Power Outage Safety Tips

In Homestead and in other communities, power outages happen for any number of reasons. Technical problems, overuse, and even bad storms can knock out the power for minutes or hours. Do you know what to do to stay safe when the power goes out?

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You can start by following these tips:

1) Stay away from downed lines.

During a storm, especially, the culprit behind power outages may be fallen lines or damaged electrical equipment. If you see sparking power lines or any downed lines, keep your pets and children away from the lines. It’s also crucial to keep everyone away from anything the lines may touch. In fact, stay at least 10 feet away from downed power lines. Objects closer than that can still pick up some of the charge downed lines may have, putting you at risk of electrocution.

It is best to keep children inside after a storm when power lines are down. Children may get curious about power lines, especially when they spark. They may not realize the amount of power in them, even if they have been warned about the dangers.

2) Know what to leave on and off.

It’s a good idea to leave one light or lamp on so you’ll be alerted when power is restored. However, unplug larger appliances to prevent a power surge and appliance damage when power is restored. Most electronics and appliances should be unplugged.

If you decide to use generators or space heaters designed to work when the power goes out, be sure to read the instructions first. Generators may need to be run outside. When refueling these items, refuel outside and keep them away from any sparks or flames.

3) Watch out for fumes.

If you’re running a gas-powered stove or generator or if you are running fuel-fired heaters or lanterns, make sure you have adequate ventilation. Use a carbon monoxide detector to ensure you aren’t putting yourself and your family in danger.

4) Keep your fridge door closed.

If the power is out for a while, one of the concerns has to do with food poisoning. Food inside your fridge will generally stay cool as long as you don’t open the fridge repeatedly and as long as power is restored fairly soon.

If food has reached 41°F or more for over four hours, you should throw it away because bacteria has started to grow. If your food is warm after the power outage or you’re not sure whether it’s safe, it would be safest to throw it away. Shellfish, meats, eggs, leftovers, and dairy products pose the greatest danger. Many raw, unprocessed fruits, nuts, and vegetables may still be safe to eat.

5) Look out for fire hazards.

If you are burning candles for light while the power is out, keep candles carefully monitored. Never allow children to play near candles or to carry them. If you’re using heaters, lamps, lanterns, or anything with an open flame or with fuel, keep in mind it can pose a fire hazard. Do not operate these items near curtains or other flammable materials and keep these sources of light and heat supervised at all times.

Have you been injured by defective generator or other household product? If so, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. You may have a product liability claim in Homestead or your community and you may be eligible for compensation to help you pay for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other costs associated with your injury.

Our attorneys can help you understand how much your case may be worth. We have helped plaintiffs in Homestead, Hollywood, Miami, and across South Florida recover tens of millions of dollars for their injuries. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience and would be pleased to consult with you about your injuries.

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