North Charleston fire offers tips for blackouts - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

North Charleston fire offers tips for blackouts

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The North Charleston Fire Department and NFPA would like to take a moment to remind residents that severe weather and storms can cause power outages and restoring power can take time.  

Before the storm, begin by conserving energy to help reduce the threat of a power outage.

  • Have flashlights, a battery-powered or hand cranked radio and extra batteries on hand.
  • Set aside extra water and buy or make extra ice.
  • If you have space in the refrigerator or freezer, keep plastic containers filled with water. The frozen or chilled water will help keep food cool during the power outage.
  • If you take medication that requires refrigeration check with the doctor of pharmacist to determine how long the medication can last.
  • Back up your computer files regularly.
  • Have some form of phone that does not require electricity.  A cellular phone or a standard phone/receiver set will allow you to make calls even if the power is out.  A cordless phone will not work when the power goes out. 
  • Keep your vehicle's gas tank at least half full.
  • If you plan to use a fireplace, ensure that it is cleaned and inspected by a chimney sweep each year.
  • If you have specific needs or a disability that requires electrical equipment, make plans to evacuate if necessary or have a generator on hand to power equipment.

During a power outage

  • Never use candles for emergency lighting or heating, use flashlights and blankets.
  • If you use your fireplace to heat your home, remember to extinguish the fire before going to bed.
  • If you use a UL listed and approved indoor fueled heater, ensure that it too is extinguished before going to bed.
  • When filling the fuel in the heater, do so outside.  Never fuel a heater indoors.
  • Give space heaters space.  At least three feet around it to ensure no fire is ignited in curtains, furniture of clothing.
  • Never heat your home with the oven or stove.
  • Torn off any electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.  Leave one light on so you know when the power comes back on.
  • Use generators safely. DO NOT run a generator inside a home or garage. (The carbon monoxide can silently kill everyone in the home).  Keep the instructions for the generator and be familiar with its operation.
  • Use the telephone only for emergencies.
  • Listen to the radio for updates and instructions.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel.
  • Take steps to remain warm.  Keep doors and windows closed, wear sweaters, layers and gloves.
  • If you are in a car when a power line falls on it, stay in the vehicle and do not touch anything on the outside of the vehicle.  Use your horn or cell phone to signal for help.
  • Short term power outages usually occur during peak energy usage time between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, and typically last about an hour.
  • If the outage continues consider going to a warming station. That information will


After the outage

  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Do not refreeze any dairy products, seafood, or food that has thawed completely.  If the food was above 40 degrees for more than two hours, or anything with a questionable texture or smell should be discarded.  If in doubt throw it out.
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