Most power outages last for only a few moments. In extreme cases such as severe weather, outages can last for more than a day. Because power failures do happen, it makes sense to be prepared for them.
What To Do When The Power Goes Off
Determine whether the power failure is limited to your home.
- If your neighbour's power is still on, check your own circuit breaker panel or fuse box. When operating a breaker, always face away from the panel.
- If your neighbour's power is off, call Bluewater Power (519) 337-8201.
What Will I Need In A Basic Emergency Kit
Keep a stock of emergency supplies where you can easily find them in the dark. Your basic emergency kit should include:
- Food and water provisions
- A flashlight and fresh batteries
- Candles, matches, and candleholders
- A transistor radio and a non-electric clock
Portable stoves, lamps and other camping equipment can be useful. But they should be stored - along with their fuels - in a shed or garage that is separated from the house. Liquid fuels give off combustible vapours and should be kept outside the house at all times. Outdoor and charcoal barbecues should never be used indoors. They are a fire and safety hazard, and can give off deadly carbon monoxide.
During lengthy outages additional supplies may be required. Natural disasters such as the ice storm of 1998 could cause more lengthy outages due to a more significant impact on the electricity infrastructure.
How to Report An Outage
We urge customers to call us, as this helps determine the extent of the outage. To report an outage, call (519) 337-8201.
If you see a downed power line, please call us with the exact location. Keep back a minimum of 10 metres (33 feet) from the wires or anything in contact with them and warn others of the danger. Always assume that the lines are energized.
Switch Off All Appliances and Tools
- Appliance or tools left on will start up automatically upon restoration of service; turning them off will prevent injury or fire.
- If a power surge follows startup, it could damage sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, microwaves, and VCR's.
- Power can be restored more easily by reducing the load on the electric system.
- If you leave your home during the outage make sure your range is turned off and all other heat-producing appliances, such as your iron, are unplugged. This will minimize the risk of fire when power is restored.
Other Tips For When the Power Goes Off
- Leave one light switch on so you know when the power is restored.
- Only open your freezer or fridge when absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 48 hours if the door remains closed.
- Don't use barbecues, portable generators, or propane or kerosene heaters indoors. They are for outdoor use where there is proper ventilation.
- Use proper candle holders; never leave them unattended.
When The Power is Restored
- Check to make sure your refrigerator and freezer are back on. Check your freezer guide to determine whether food can be safely re-frozen.
- Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize. Turn on the most essential appliances first, and wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting the others.
- Remember to reset your clocks, automatic timers, and alarms.
- Restock your emergency cupboard so the supplies will be there when they are needed again.