If you live in an apartment, it’s a good idea to know what to do if the power goes out. You’ll want to make sure you can keep your family safe during the outage and stay warm.
First, check your circuit breaker. It’s usually located in a bedroom closet or in the wall of your hallway.
1. Check Your Circuit Breaker
Your circuit breaker is one of the most important safety devices in your home. It protects your electrical system from excess current, which can damage your appliances and cause fires.
To check your circuit breaker, you need a multimeter with a test lead on each terminal. Connect one to the screw on the circuit breaker and the other to a ground. If it reads less than 2 volts, your breaker is working properly.
If it’s not, you need to take a closer look at what’s going on. If the breaker is tripped, it means that there is a problem in the wiring or something else is causing the tripping.
This is why it’s always a good idea to have your residential electrician look at any problem in the wiring in your home before you try to fix it yourself. They’ll be able to spot the problem and help you resolve it quickly, without putting your home at risk.
You’ll also need to know where your breaker is located in your apartment. If you’re not sure, ask the managing company or landlord about it. They can show you where it is or point you in the right direction if you can’t find it yourself.
Your apartment may have a breaker box in the hallway, or it may be connected to the main breaker in your home. It’s also possible that your apartment building has a shared breaker box that you can turn off in case of an emergency.
2. Check With Your Neighbors
If you notice the power in your apartment has gone out, it is important to check with your neighbors. If they have power and you don’t, there may be a larger issue that needs to be taken care of by the power company.
It is also important to find out who called the power company. If your power went out due to a storm, you will probably want to stay indoors until the storm has passed and it is safe to go outside.
Once you are inside, there are a few things you can do to make yourself and your family safer during an outage. Depending on the severity of the outage, you may need to follow your evacuation plan or prepare an emergency kit with essentials.
One of the most important things you can do is check your circuit breaker or fuse box. If you don’t know where it is, ask your landlord or managing company to show you. You can usually locate the circuit breaker panel by looking for a gray metal box with lots of switches.
The first step is to open the little door that protects the breaker. Most modern circuit breakers have a series of little windows that will turn orange when a switch is tripped. You can flip the switch under these orange windows to reset the breaker and restore your electricity.
Once the power is back on, it is important to unplug any electronics that are sensitive to a large amount of electrical current. This will prevent them from being damaged when the power comes back on. It is also a good idea to unplug water treatment systems that can be affected by the sudden surge of electricity.
3. Light a Candle
Light is one of the first things you need when you’re trying to get around your apartment in the dark. This will help you navigate your way to your emergency kit and prepare yourself for anything that might come up during a power outage.
But candles are not the only solution, and you need to be careful when using them, especially during hot months. Flashlights and battery-operated lights are safer options and should give you about 6 hours of light during a power outage.
You can also make a candle with materials you may already have lying around your apartment or at work. You can use items like a can of fish in oil and cotton string to make an emergency candle.
Another quick and easy emergency candle is made from an orange peel. Simply slicing the top part of the peel off and pouring oil into the central column will light your candle, though you’ll need to add more oil during the burn to keep it going.
A stick of butter can be a great emergency candle too. Almost all people have at least one stick of butter in their kitchen and it makes for a simple fuel source. Just remember to add a wick before you use it.
4. Get Some Blankets
Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, you’ll likely encounter a power outage from time to time. The most common complaint is that power companies are slow to respond and charge exorbitant rates for repairs, but luckily there are a few things you can do to prevent the dreaded blackout from happening to you.
The best way to do this is to plan ahead and stockpile the best battery-operated flashlights, lanterns and power bars you can find. This will help you avoid the dreaded blackout that plagues many NYC apartment residents. Be sure to keep a spare set in your car or on your person at all times, as well. You’ll also want to consider buying a good quality battery-operated LED light bulb as well, as they can last a long time without a power outlet. The best place to start is with a good supply of inexpensive bulbs, since you can usually get them at your local hardware store for a fraction of the price.
5. Stay Indoors
It’s best to stay indoors during a power outage. Not only is it safer, but it’s also the easiest way to avoid getting caught in a situation where the weather outside could change suddenly.
During a storm, for example, it is possible that the power might go out in your apartment. If you are unsure of what to do, keep these tips in mind:
1. Gather Your Family Together
It is important that all members of your family know where they are going when the power goes out. Choose one room to bunker down in and make sure that everyone is dressed appropriately.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
If the power goes out for more than a few hours, it is crucial that you stay hydrated. This will prevent dehydration and keep you feeling energized throughout the outage.
3. Use Natural Ventilation
If your air conditioning is off, you can use a battery-powered fan to circulate fresh air in your apartment. You can also open some windows to allow for natural ventilation during a power outage.
4. Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Cold
The fridge and freezer are the best place to store food that may spoil during a power outage. They are also the safest places to keep your beverages.
5. Light Your Home
It is a good idea to have at least one candle and a flashlight on hand when the power goes out. Flashlights are a great option because they are safer than candles and won’t cause a fire.
It is a good idea to have at minimum a few extra blankets on hand as well. This will help you feel a little more comfortable in the dark and it will also help to keep your body warm.