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After an Outage

Once power has been restored to your home after an outage, there are a few safety hazards that could exist. Here are some things to consider after power has been restored to your home.

Damaged Electrical Equipment

  • Some homes have service masts mounted to the roof of their home. During an outage, these may become damaged creating safety hazards. Learn more about service mast safety after an outage.

Water

  • Do not enter a flooded basement unless you are sure the power is disconnected.
  • Do not use flooded appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes or fuse-breaker panels until they have been checked and cleaned by a qualified electrician.
  • Close the drain valve in the basement.
  • Turn on the water supply. Close lowest valves/taps first and allow air to escape from upper taps.
  • Make sure that the hot water heater is filled before turning on the power to it.
  • Reset your clocks, automatic timers and alarms.

Electrical Appliances

  • Switch on the main electric switch (before, check to ensure appliances, electric heaters, TVs, microwaves computers, etc. were unplugged to prevent damage from a power surge).
  • Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize before reconnecting tools and appliances. Turn the heating-system thermostats up first, followed in a couple of minutes by reconnection of the fridge and freezer. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting all other tools and appliances.

Food Safety

  • Check food supplies in refrigerators, freezers and cupboards for signs of spoilage. If a freezer door has been kept closed, food should stay frozen 24 to 36 hours, depending on the temperature. When food begins to defrost (usually after two days), it should be cooked; otherwise it should be thrown out.
  • As a general precaution, keep a bag of ice cubes in the freezer. If you return home after a period of absence and the ice has melted and refrozen, there is a good chance that the food is spoiled. When in doubt, throw it out.

Ensure that you restock your emergency kit, so supplies are available if needed again. Here are some additional resources you may find useful:

Environment Canada's Be prepared for Winter Weather

Understanding Winter Weather

Canadian Red Cross - Winter Safety Tips

Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Waterloo Region Emergency Management