Smart ways to prepare for power outages and gas leaks

Prepare for nature's big punches by having the right tools on hand and by learning techniques that can save your house and its occupants.

Smart ways to prepare for power outages and gas leaks

Lighting a room without power

Power outages can be dangerous if you're not prepared. Make sure you have a source of non-electric lighting on standby.

  • If you plan to use kerosene lamps or lanterns, add lamp oil and wicks to your list.
  • Locate them strategically throughout the house.
  • Do the same with candles, candle holders and chimneys. Make sure candles are placed in the open, away from draperies and on noncombustible surfaces.

Keep food fresh during a power outage

  • Freeze jugs of water. Place one in the refrigerator; leave others in the freezer to extend refrigeration.
  • Remove fresh food for today and something still frozen for tomorrow. Then leave the refrigerator and freezer closed. Sealed off, an unpowered freezer can keep food frozen up to 48 hours.

Dealing with a gas leak

  • Get everyone out of the house as calmly and safely as possible. Don't try to find the source of the gas odour or wait to see whether it gets worse.
  • Don't use the telephone, turn on lights or make other electrical connections inside the house; it could cause a deadly spark. Go to another location immediately, call the utility company and report the possible emergency.
  • Turn off the main gas line to the house from the outside only if you can do so quickly.

Power outages and gas leaks are two dangerous problems that many people aren't prepared to combat. Remember these tips and react quickly to protect your home and family.

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