Black-outs are more dangerous than you think. It’s easy to dismiss them as normal occurrences of power shortages and such, but if you’re not careful, a black-out can lead to a litany of tragedies. From hurting yourself or the people around you to potentially—and quite literally—burning the house down, you have to be extra careful with yourself when you’re experiencing a blackout in your home. It’s not enough that you just stay still until the lights come back or a professional comes by and fixes everything. You have to take your own precautionary measures to ensure that whatever happens in during the black-out, you and your family will still be safe and sound.
When it comes to not hurting anybody else, it’s all a matter of being careful with your actions. But regarding the possibility of starting a fire, this entails more action than you might realize. Here are a few preventive measures to take to avoid any fire-hazards in starting a fire during a black-out.
Keep a Flashlight with You at All Times
This is probably a no-brainer but it’s still very much important enough for a mention. When you’re home suddenly runs out of power, especially during the night, the first thing you should reach for is the flashlight. You’ll need to light your path, not only so that you avoid bumping into people and objects, but also to avoid any possible start to fire. For example, when lighting a candle, you might not realize what other objects you might be setting fire to, and before long there would be flames all over your house. Such can easily be avoided and resolved if you have a flashlight with you to show you what you’re doing and where you’re going.
Turn Off all Electronic Devices/Appliances
The moment you get your flashlight, the second thing you must do is to turn off all electronic appliances. In fact, some, like your television set and air conditioner, would be better off unplugged than just simply turned off. Although the black-out, they’re borderline harmless, once the power returns, however, this leads to a lot of sparks and potentially, a lot of lames. You can easily avoid such by turning everything off, and some, even unplugging them. However, lamps can be tricky. Although it’s better to turn everything off, it may be best to leave one open so that you’ll know that the moment they light up, the power is back.
Don’t Light Too Many Candles
Now it’s time for the candles. After your flashlight, which will only light up the area where you currently are, you’re going to need to light some candles in order for having more light. In avoiding a fire-hazard with such, don’t light too many. Within one room, you’ll only really need just one candle and it’s enough to light up ample space in the area. For bigger rooms, such as the living room and dining area, approximately two or three candles are enough. In rooms that you don’t need to visit or stay in during the black-out, they’re better left without a candle at all!
Know Where to Place your Candles
After lighting a few candles, the question remains as to where to place them. As mentioned earlier, one candle in one room is enough, but where exactly do you place it? In one room, it’s better to place the candle a bit higher up so that it can light up the rest of the room. However, don’t place too high that it becomes a challenge to blow it off when you don’t need it anymore. In rooms that are too big for just one candle, on the other hand, it’s best to separate them so that every dark corner can get its own light. It’s never ideal to place candles too near each other anyway, for that it really a fire-hazard to avoid!
Keep Spaces as Open as Possible
In the same vein as keeping spaces between candles, any space in your home should be kept as open as possible during a black-out. Firstly, it helps one avoid getting into an accident, ones that can potentially start a fire. For instance, if you unintentionally left a lamp turned on during the black-out and the bulb is still quite hot, and because of a scarcity in space you accidentally bump into it and it falls, the smashed bulb can lead to spark that can turn into flames. At least when you have as open a space as possible, you’ll have little to no opportunity to bump into something that can possibly start a fire.
Have Enough Water Ready
As a precautionary measure, ensure that each room in the house, during a blackout has enough water. It’s highly unlikely for big fires to flare up during a black-out, but small sparks can lead to small flames that can eventually turn into such big fires. But if you have a pitcher or a bucket of water handy in all the rooms in your house, you can easily extinguish such sparks in no time. So when you already have your flashlight in you and you’ve turned off or unplugged all electronic devices, head on over to the nearest sink and faucet and get some water for each room in the house. Remember to make sure to place them in a corner so that the others won’t accidentally bump into them and spill the water all over the floor.
Let any Hot Items Cool Off
As mentioned earlier, things that are still hot, like lightbulbs and the metals of electronic devices that were turned on for way too long, can potentially start fires. In the event of a black-out, let them cool off. Once you’ve turned them off and/or unplugged them, just leave them be so that, in time, they’ll cool off and won’t be a bother to you at all.
And finally, in the event of a blackout, it’s best that you take out one of the most fire-hazard beings outside the house: yourself. Your properties are essentially void in starting a fire unless you start an accident that can lead to such tragedies. Once you’ve turned everything off and unplugged anything that needs unplugging, it’s best to go outside and wait for the power to return. This is the safest way for all of you to wait out the black-out without starting any fire!
Fire-hazards can still be dangerous in the event of a blackout. Just follow these tips and tricks to easily avoid starting a fire when your house has no power!