Outage Tips for Young Families

As a parent, you realize how vital it is to take extra precautions during power outages to help keep your youngsters safe. The tips on this page will help.

Power Outages Require Extra Vigilance by Young Families

As a parent, you realize how vital it is to take extra precautions during power outages to help keep your youngsters safe. This is especially true when it's particularly hot or cold, or in  the wake of extreme weather events.  Follow these tips:

Prepare Ahead for Outages:  Work with your family to make a plan so that when power outages occur, you are ready.  This includes making an Emergency Preparedness Kit.  Click here to see recommended contents.

Find out How Long the Outage is Expected to Last:  First check to see if your neighbours have power or if the street lights are still on. If the outage appears limited to your home, check your circuit breaker panel or fuse box, if you can do so safely with proper lighting.  If power is out for neighbouring buildings and homes, check to see if the outage has already been reported by visiting Outage Maps.  With Outage Maps you can get a real time view of where the power is out and, often, the estimated restore time.  If the outage is expected to be particularly long, consider if it might be best to make arrangements  for alternate housing with a friend or family member.  Check with the City of Burlington to see if community warming stations have been set up.  

Keep Your Youngsters Indoors and Within Sight:  During power outages, especially those caused by bad weather, the situation outdoors can be dangerous.  Assess the situation outdoors, even if it's daylight, before letting your children outside.  

Help Your Food Last Longer: Try to reduce the number of times family members open the fridge to help keep it cool, and help slow the rate the contents might spoil.  

Have Safe Alternate Lighting Available:  It may seem obvious, but how many times have you caught yourself in an outage, not knowing where the flashlight is? Keep a few flashlights with working batteries in different areas around your home – and always keep extra batteries on hand.  Try to avoid the use of candles all together if you can. They are a fire hazard, especially when it comes to kids. If you must use candles, be sure they are far away from flammable objects, always out-of-reach of children, and never unattended. Avoid walking around your home with lit candles. Always extinguish candles before going to bed.  Consider the benefits of solar or chargeable lithium powered lighting.

Keep Warm SAFELY during Winter Outages:   During cold weather outages keep warm by snuggling up and layering on clothes or blankets.   Never use portable generators or barbeques in your home, on the balcony or inside a garage.  Ensure all heaters are specified for indoor use.  Never use a gas stove for heat.  All fuel burning appliances produce carbon monoxide fumes which are deadly.

Flooded Homes: DO NOT WALK IN OR TOUCH STANDING WATER as it may be or become energized by the electrical system in your home.  Even during an outage, no part of a flooded home should be considered safe.

Stay Informed: During a power outage, a charged smartphone or tablet with internet connectivity is the best way to follow restoration efforts during an outage. From your smart phone, we recommend the BHI mobile web site www.m.burlingtonhydro.com, which includes access to our Outage Maps search tool.  We also regularly post real-time updates on outages on Twitter @BurlingtonHydro.  Burlington Hydro also offers a helpful record update during Outages at 905-332-1851.  To Report outages or for power emergencies call 1-877-310-4937.

Be aware of Voip Phone short-falls:  Voip phones have their advantages but require an internet connection to work. They offer limited back-up power potential, which could leave you without a means to communicate during an outage.  Of course, the life span of cell phones is limited as well.  For this reason, Burlington Hydro recommends that customers consider the safety advantages of maintaining a standard land-line, and a conventional home phone that does not require electricity to function.