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Another day, another storm. Here are 5 ways to safely weather a power outage at home

Three things to know for a power outage

Winter storms can cause a power outage at anytime. Be prepared and safe with these three following tips.
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Winter storms can cause a power outage at anytime. Be prepared and safe with these three following tips.

Brrrrr. It’s cold outside. That’s not going to change in the coming days as the Northwest braces for yet another snowstorm.

And should the winter storm knock out the power, heating your home could be a problem, and a danger, if you’re not careful during an outage in this weather.

Here are five things you can do to stay safe during this cold snap, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association and the Whatcom County Health Department:

  • You could get carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly, if you’re trying to heat your home the wrong way. So, put generators outside, and make sure they’re far from open windows or vents that could funnel the odorless gas back into your home. Buy a carbon monoxide detector while you’re at it.
  • For the same reason, don’t run a generator inside your house, carport or garage — even with the door open.
  • And no matter how much you want to eat something warm or to warm up, don’t fire up your charcoal or gas grill indoors.

  • Don’t eat food that’s not being kept cold because the fridge or freezer is out. You could get sick. If you think that you can just put all that food outside in the cold, the state Health Department doesn’t recommend doing that because the sun could thaw frozen food or warm cold food until, voila, bacteria grows.
  • Never use candles for light. Have flashlights ready, as well as other battery-powered lighting and fresh batteries, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which said that half of all home heating fires occur in December, January and February.
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Kie Relyea has been a reporter at The Bellingham Herald since 1997 and currently writes about social services and recreation in Whatcom County. She started her career in 1991 as a reporter and editor in Northern California.


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