Safe ways to handle power outages and gas leaks in the home

Taking care of a home means that things will sometimes go wrong. Check out these safety tips and learn how to deal with power outages and gas leaks.

Safe ways to handle power outages and gas leaks in the home

What you need to know about power outages

A lengthy power outage can spoil frozen foods. If the contents of your refrigerator are in jeopardy, keep the following in mind:

  1. Don't open the freezer door. Freezers are well insulated and will stay cold for a long time. If the freezer is full and the door is kept closed, food should stay frozen for 48 hours. However, food in a partially-filled freezer may keep for only 24 hours.
  2. Use dry ice if your freezer is likely to be off longer than 48 hours. Dry ice is available from most clear-ice suppliers. Don't let it touch your skin or the food. Wear heavy gloves and carry it in cardboard containers.
  3. When the power comes back on, evaluate the damage. Foods that have thawed completely should not be refrozen. Throw out anything that has an off colour or an odd smell.

What to do if you smell gas

  • The shutoff valve on a gas range or oven is near the point where the gas line enters — usually under the cooktop. If yours isn't there, consult your owner's manual or your appliance dealer. All adults in the house should know where it is.
  • If you smell a heavy gas odour, immediately turn off any flames, open windows and doors and get everyone out of the house. If your range's shut-off valve isn't within easy reach, turn off your home's main gas shut-off valve at the meter or the bottled gas tank.
  • Do not touch a light switch, pick up a telephone or make any electrical connection that could create a spark. If you need light, use a flashlight. Report the leak to your gas company or supplier from a neighbour's telephone.
  • If you notice a faint gas odour, check for a burner flame or a pilot light that has blown out. Check the oven also. If you're not cooking, probably a pilot light has gone out. Turn off any flames and air out the room. Relight the burner or pilot only after all gas odour is gone. If any odour persists after you've aired out the room, turn off the gas at your home's main shut-off valve and call the gas company.
  • When ventilating a room, keep in mind that natural gas is lighter than air and collects in the upper reaches of the room; bottled gas sinks to the floor.

Keep these safety tips in mind and be prepared for your next power outage or gas leak.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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