June starts National Safety Month. In this post, we’ll discuss alternative energy sources when the electric grid is down. The simplest and safest alternative energy source is a battery or solar powered flashlight. Candles and oil lamps are also possibilities, but have much greater risks of fire and carbon monoxide exposure. The following three alternatives require a larger investment in money and aren’t available everywhere.
Generators As Alternate Sources of Electricity
Using a generator as an alternative power source when the electric is out is the first big tool that comes to mind. Thankfully, my apartment building has a generator for power outages. Generators come in portable forms or ones installed in your home. Portable generators have a risk of causing carbon monoxide poisoning if not used correctly. According to Consumer Reports, “more than 900 people died of carbon monoxide poisoning and thousands were injured while using portable generators from 2005 to 2017.” Other dangers of using a portable generator include electric shocks and fires.
I have never used a generator, so check the following resources for information.
While generators are very helpful in a power outage and many people use them, you really need to follow safety procedures to not cause yourself injuries. Learn more at Generator Safety Tips That Will Get You Through a Storm, and Maybe Save Your Life
Next, the Red Cross has information about how to figure out what size generator you need. They recommend installing a stationary generator in your home instead of using a portable one. You can learn more here: Safe Generator Use.
An installer of stationary generators, Quality Home Services, has also written an article called 7 Generator Safety Tips To Keep Your Home Safe. A Google search should help you find installers in your area.
Finally, refresh your memory often on how to use your generator safely. Keep the instructions with the device if possible. That way, you’ll be more likely to use it safely in an emergency.
Solar Power Batteries +
The following article enlightened me to the possibility of solar energy as an alternative energy source during a power outage. Apparently, there are batteries that can store solar energy for later use, and a new grid item that can power your home in an electric outage. The following article goes into detail about how solar panels hold up in extreme weather and more about their use in power outages.
As with generators, learn all you can about the safe operation of your solar system during a power outage and refresh that information every season. Keep safety and operation info near the source so you can refer to it in an emergency.
Keeping Warm In A Power Outage
When the power goes out in the winter, keeping warm is a priority. Since haIf of the hemisphere is heading toward winter, this section is for them. If you own a gas fireplace, this article tells you how you can use it without the electric starter. Using a Gas Fireplace During a Power Outage? Since my former gas fireplace started with the flip of an electric switch, I’m not familiar with the type mentioned in this article.
The following article discusses safely using a regular fireplace, a gas fireplace, or a wood burner stove for warmth in a power outage. What to Do in a Power Outage and How Your Fireplace Can Help
Just as with generators, using fireplaces and/or wood stoves comes with risks. Refresh your memory often about using these devices safely, and especially at the start of heating season. Don’t forget that chimneys and flues need regular cleaning to prevent fires.
I have had experience using both fireplaces and wood stoves for heating. Wood stoves are far more efficient in keeping an area warm if you learn how to manage them well.
Wrap-Up Of Alternative Energy Sources In A Power Outage
The start of a new season is a good time to review safety topics. I’ve written about preparing for emergencies in a previous post. Check it out to refresh your memory: Emergency Preparation Tips You Need To Know
I hope this National Safety Month you take the time to update your knowledge about safely using alternative energy sources in a power outage. I also hope you take the time to refresh your emergency kit supplies, so you’re prepared for any emergency that comes your way. Nothing is more frustrating than needing a flashlight and finding the battery is dead. If you need life-saving medical equipment like a ventilator or BiPAP machine, make sure you let your electric company know so you are a priority for them during an outage. Please share this info with others. Thank you!
If you have any tips on using these things or on preparing for an emergency, please share in the comments. Till next time, Kathy
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