During outages, we work hard to restore power as quickly as we safely can. But sometimes, it can take a while to make the necessary repairs. Here are some ways you can prepare your home so you’re ready if an outage happens.
Take steps to ensure that you’re prepared for unplanned outages.
- Save 310-2220 into your cellphone. This phone number is toll-free and dedicated to 24-hour outage reporting. If you’re out of province call us at 1-888-355-5589.
- If you use electronic life-sustaining equipment, make sure to have a backup power source. You can register your life-sustaining equipment with us and be notified of planned power outages.
- Plug in important electronic equipment through surge-protector power bars.
- Winterize your home to keep heat in by insulating walls and attics, caulking or weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected once a year.
- If your home has a wood-burning fireplace, keep a supply of firewood handy.
- Keep a supply of non-toxic antifreeze on hand to protect plumbing from freezing.
- Put together an outage kit. Learn how to prepare a proper one below.
Preparing an Outage Kit
Creating a kit that is handy and accessible, even in the dark, will help you stay safe during unplanned outages. Make sure your kit will last you 3 days. Write 310-2220 on the outside of the kit and include the following items:
- Water — at least one gallon (4 litres) for each member of your household, per day.
- Food — non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items. Include a manual can opener (or a multi-purpose tool).
- Flashlights — include extra batteries and make sure the flashlight is functional. Candles can be included but must only be used by adults and never by children. Keep candles away from flammable material (such as curtains) and have a working fire extinguisher on hand. LED candles are a safer alternative.
- First-Aid Kit — include essential medications and required medical items. If you have medication that needs to be refrigerated, consult your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.
- A battery-powered or hand-crank clock and radio.
- Blankets and warm clothing.
The Use of Generators
Standby and backup generators provide power when there’s an outage. But they need to be installed and used properly.
- In order to connect a generator to your premise, you’re required to have an electrical permit, which can only be secured by a licenced electrical contractor.
- This includes installing a transfer switch. Without a transfer switch, your generator will feed power back into the power lines, creating a serious electrical hazard for our personnel working to restore service nearby.
- For your safety, never operate a generator or any unvented appliance (such as a barbeque or propane or kerosene space heater) in an enclosed space. Doing so puts you and your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.