A big crack of thunder rattles the windows and startles everyone into an alert state of presence. The lights flicker as rain thuds against the roof until suddenly, the whole house plunges into darkness. Appliances groan as they shut down and unsettling silence fills the air…a power outage. While a loss of power can cause unrest and a bit of panic, with a little preparation and know-how, you can navigate a blackout like a champ.

Make sure your hearth is in the best condition to support you in the event of a power outage – call Integrity Chimney Service for the best chimney and fireplace service near Lackawanna County, PA. Reach us online by filling out our contact form, or give us a call at 570-221-4113.

What’s the First Thing I Should Do When I Lose Power?

Losing power can be scary – especially when it comes out of nowhere. The first thing to do in a power outage is remain calm. Check on everyone in your household before assessing the whole situation:

  • Figure out the source of the outage. Is it just your house, or is the whole neighborhood or complex dark? Did you miss any notifications of planned outages? Do as much research as you can to get a scope of the problem. That way you can adjust your expectations and overall response accordingly.
  • Locate alternative light sources. Depending on the time of day a power outage occurs, it’s important to have flashlights, battery-operated lanterns, headlamps, or other light sources readily available. Candles are okay, but remember to never leave an open flame unattended.
  • Unplug all electronics. Though a power outage won’t necessarily damage plugged-in electronics, such an event has been known to cause power surges upon the return of electrical function. Power surges are dangerous because they increase the voltage at which your appliances are operating, creating a risk of permanent damage to the device or even starting a fire. So, it’s best to eliminate the possibility of either by unplugging.
  • Be mindful of perishable foods. Without a connection to a power source, your refrigerator and freezer cannot maintain their intended temperature, and every time the door is opened, more cold air escapes. To preserve the life of your perishable foods, try to minimize (or avoid) opening these appliances during a power outage. 

What Supplies Should I Have on Hand To Prepare for a Blackout?

Preparation is always key…and power outages are no exception. Having supplies at the ready can help eliminate the blackout blues and leave you equipped to tackle anything that comes your way. Here’s a handy checklist:

  • Flashlights, Extra Batteries, and Candles: Having multiple flashlights around is ideal, especially if you have a larger house. Make sure to have batteries on hand, too, so even if one of them dies, you’re not left in darkness for too long. Candles are always an option, too, but like we touched on earlier, be mindful of open flames – especially if you have young children.
  • Battery-Powered Radio: This is important to help you monitor the outage and receive updates. If you don’t have a radio, do your best to charge devices and get as much information as possible ahead of time if threatening weather is on the way.
  • First-Aid Kit: While you should always have some form of first-aid kit around the house, this is especially true in the event of a power outage or some other emergency.
  • Bottled Water and Non-Perishable Foods: Try to maintain enough food and water supplies for everyone in the house to last at least a day or two.
  • Warm Clothes and Blankets: While this is mostly important if you should lose power during the winter months, it’s a good idea to always have warm layers to cozy up with all year round. You never know when chilly weather will strike!
Original infographic of a comprehensive guide to navigating power outages

Can I Use My Fireplace During a Power Outage?

Absolutely – so long as you’ve maintained the proper maintenance and care routine, your fireplace can be an excellent source of both warmth and light in the event of power loss. To be sure your hearth is in good condition to support you and your family in the event of power loss, ensure the following:

  • Schedule a Chimney Inspection and Cleaning: Regardless of when you choose to use your hearth, it’s important to keep up with annual maintenance tasks like inspections and cleanings. These services verify that your system is clean and free of any fire-causing debris.
  • Verify All Smoke/CO Detectors Are Working Properly: Before lighting and enjoying a fire, make sure all your alarms and detectors have fresh batteries and are in good working condition.
  • Have a Fire Safety Plan and Supplies Nearby: Establish an emergency fire safety plan with the members of your household and make sure everyone knows it. Keep supplies like fire extinguishers nearby and remember to never leave a fire unattended.

Is Your Fireplace Ready? Ensure Your Safety, Book a Service With Integrity Chimney Today

You may not ever welcome a power outage, but armed with a plan and some supplies, you can at least tackle the challenge head-on. 

If you’ve yet to schedule your yearly chimney sweep and inspection, the experts at Integrity Chimney Service are here to help. Give us a call at 570-221-4113 or fill out our appointment request form to book a service today.