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November 8, 2016 1:48 am
With the snowy weather of winter comes a less beautiful seasonal sensation: power outages. To keep your family safe and cozy sans power, follow these tips:
Before the storm:
• Stock-up on batteries and flashlights.
• Evaluate the family's non-perishable food supply and restock if necessary.
• Review how to manually open the electric garage door.
• A practice run will help ensure a family knows how to properly locate and operate any equipment required during the power outage.
• Never use a gas stove, oven or grill to heat a home.
• During the first few hours of the outage, keep the refrigerator and freezer closed. Snow can be used as ice to keep items cold in a cooler.
• Choose mittens over gloves and wear layered loose clothing to stay warm.
• Always operate your portable generator outside of your home.
“Having a backup power solution ready ahead of a utility power outage prevents most of the headaches that go with living without power. With backup power, families won't necessarily need to worry about potentially dangerous temperatures, for example,” says Melissa Thomas, marketing assistant manager, Briggs & Stratton Standby power. “This gives families the security they desire to comfortably ride out long winter months.”
The most popular backup power solutions are portable generators and permanently-installed standby generator systems. Both types of backup power can keep a home's lights, the furnace and necessary appliances working in the event of a weather-related power outage or other emergency. Understanding the differences and capabilities between the two options makes selecting the best generator for a family's needs much easier.
Portable Generators: Immediate Backup Power Supply
Portable generators are generally low maintenance, compact and easily maneuverable on the property. These units are typically powered by gasoline and work well as an immediate solution during a power outage.
Additionally, they are designed to provide reliable electricity to a few essential items and appliances such as a refrigerator, basic light circuits and portable electric heaters at the same time.
While portable generators can provide users with flexibility and comfort, they need to be used appropriately at all times in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Never run a portable generator inside a home or in a garage.
Standby Generators: High-Wattage Backup Power Supply
Families who want a backup power source that offers uninterrupted power should opt for a home standby generator system. Home standby generators need to be professionally installed, so homeowners should allow time for the installation process and associated costs.
These home generators are connected to the existing propane or natural gas line of a house. When utility power to a house is interrupted, the home generator automatically turns on within seconds. Home standby generators can power more of a home's high-wattage appliances, like the furnace, electric water heater, stove and clothes dryer.
Published with permission from RISMedia.
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