We’ve all experienced it: the flicker of lights, the hum of appliances shutting down, the piercing quiet falling over a home – the darkness of a power outage. These days we’re so accustomed to modern technology that losing power can be intimidating and a bit scary, leading to questions about how long it will take and what to expect along the way.
But, with the right mindset, a prepared safety plan, and a pocket full of tools (and ways to pass the time), losing power doesn’t have to be all bad. After all, there’s nothing quite like firelight and forced time away from screens to remind us of simpler times.
If you live near Grand Junction, CO, make sure your fireplace is equipped to handle anything this winter – including the dreaded loss of power. Call the dedicated professionals at The Chimney Doctor to make sure you’re fully prepared. To learn more about us, or to schedule your appointment, you can fill out this appointment request form, or give us a call at 970-234-3330.
What Is the First Thing You Should Do When the Power Goes Out?
When you first learn of a power outage, the most important thing to do is stay calm. Once you’ve checked with the other members of your family to ensure everyone is alright and on the same page, consider the following:
- Find a way to check who is affected. Sometimes, power outages are isolated events and only disrupt one small area. Other times, a loss of power can indicate more of a widespread issue. Get in touch with your utilities provider – or monitor the situation by watching the news or doing a bit of research online – to get a better understanding of the situation. This way, you’ll know a bit more about what to expect.
- Unplug your electronic appliances. In an effort to protect your electronics should there be a sudden power surge, it’s best practice to unplug all appliances until the power has been restored to normal. In the meantime, you can use portable chargers to ensure your most important devices remain usable.
- Avoid opening your refrigerator and/or freezer. Every time you open your refrigerator or freezer door, the cold air that keeps your food appropriately (and safely) chilled escapes. While this isn’t necessarily a huge deal in a planned power outage or one that is known to not last long, in the event of a power loss with no time stamps, you’ll want to preserve as much of your perishable foods as possible.
Can You Use Your Fireplace During a Power Outage?
Depending on the type of fireplace and chimney you have installed in your home, your hearth can be an excellent source of both heat and light in the event of power failure. However, just like under normal operating circumstances, it’s important to follow proper safety precautions. Because emotions might be heightened and stakes are a bit higher, too, it is especially crucial to prioritize the health and safety of your family members before going into autopilot.
The following tips can help you make sure your fireplace experience is as safe and enjoyable as possible during a power outage:
- Ensure there is nothing inhibiting airflow. Whether you’ve lost power or not, it’s always a good idea to give a quick peek up your chimney flue to ensure there are no blockages before lighting a fire. Safety and precaution is always better than the alternative!
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. As long as they have backup batteries, these devices are still fully functional in the event of a power outage. Always maintain an awareness of their health and condition, and check that they are properly operating so you can utilize your hearth without fear.
- Have emergency supplies nearby. Despite the warmth and light that a fireplace gives off, when used during a power outage, it’s always a good idea to have other supplies nearby. Collect items like flashlights, batteries, and warm clothes/blankets to have on hand just in case.
- Only burn well-seasoned wood…and make sure you have an ample supply. Never burn anything other than properly seasoned wood (dried for at least six months) to ensure best performance. Otherwise, you run the risk of excessive smoke production blowing back out into your living space. Also, be sure you have a good amount of firewood ready to be burned, so you don’t have to worry about running out before the power comes back.
- Never leave the fire unattended and be sure to have a fire extinguisher closeby. In the event of a power outage, you might be operating your fireplace for a longer period of time. Regardless of how long you have a fire burning, remember that it should never go unattended. Additionally, keep a fire extinguisher on hand and verify that adults and older children know how to use it.
Also, it is important to note that you should only be using your fireplace – in the event of a power outage or otherwise – if it’s been properly cleaned and inspected by a professional. Never operate a hearth appliance that has not received regular maintenance. For a wide variety of chimney services near Grand Junction, CO, trust none other than The Chimney Doctor. Reach us online or call 970-234-3330 to schedule an appointment today.
In Need of Chimney Service Near Grand Junction? Call The Chimney Doctor?
Losing power can be scary, but when you have a plan, you can at least feel ready for anything. And as far as your fireplace, stove, and chimney preparedness, the team of professional techs at The Chimney Doctor are here to help. Schedule your appointment by filling out this form or by calling 970-234-3330.