Electrical safety is an important topic, and you probably know a good deal about how to keep your home and family safe. You protect little fingers with outlet guards, you call the electric company about downed cables, and you never leave your hair dryer plugged in around water. But do you know the best things to do when a thunderstorm hits? Many of us think about weather safety during a bad storm, and we make sure everyone’s safely inside, but often we don’t think about electrical safety in that context. Given the recent rough weather in Texas, electrical safety during storms is an important subject to revisit. Here are a few precautions to take next time a thunderstorm hits:
- In advance of a storm, make sure your family is prepared. Assemble a disaster preparedness kit, with food, water and supplies to last 72 hours in case you’re stuck without power or other utilities. Make a family communications plan, too, providing each family member with important phone numbers in case you’re separated during an emergency situation. Teach all the members of your family to text, because texting sometimes gets around network outages when calling is not possible.
- When you know a storm is approaching, get to a safe place. It’s best to be inside during a storm, but if you’re stuck outside, know the best practices to stay safe. Small structures, such as stand-alone public restrooms and rain shelters, do not offer adequate protection, so find an established building grounded with plumbing and electrical systems. Barring that, the steel frame of an automobile will offer a safe shelter. If there’s no shelter available, crouch on the ground, tuck your head and cover your ears. Bring in your pets, because animals in outdoor shelters are not safe and those chained to a fence are at great risk of lightning strike.
- Stay safe indoors, too. Stay away from windows and doors, and avoid contact with electrical equipment. Also avoid contact with water and plumbing as much as possible, including sinks, faucets and baths.
- Don’t use electronics during a storm. If you must use a phone, use a cordless phone or cell phone. You can purchase surge protectors, and probably should, in case of minor power surges. Be aware, however, that surge protectors do not offer adequate protection in the case of a direct lightning strike. In general, it’s safest to unplug your electronics when you know the storm is approaching.
- Pay attention to emergency broadcasts. Tune into local radio and TV stations as soon as the weather starts to turn. Storms can form quickly and it’s important to have real-time information. You can even prepare yourself in advance by downloading severe weather apps from local news services to your mobile phone. That way, no matter where you are, you’ll have the information you need to keep your family safe.
Electrical safety is an important part of protecting your family from harm. Helping your family thrive is important to Cirro Energy, which is why we offer electric plans to fit your family’s needs and work within your budget. For more information on Cirro Energy electric plans, visit the website. To connect with the online community, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.