When the power goes out, the risk of fire goes up unless you know for sure that your own building's electrical lines and connections are not causing the outage. A power outage in a room or building caused by a shorted-out or broken wire may leave a dangerous, live wire connected to the power source. These are frequently caused by squirrels and other rodents that have chewed up and damaged wires by accessing them from unprotected utility lines and poles.
These live wires are hazardous. Not only could a live, unattached wire start a fire in a wall or ceiling of a building, but the potential personal shock, burn, or other injury is very high. Exposed wires and damaged electrical connections on the outside of a building or from a line running in off a power pole pose major risks too. They are broken and "hot" with direct connection to the power source and can transfer deadly energy at any time.
Preventing injury and loss of property due to fires in power outages is critical, especially when the cause of the outage is unknown. Remember these fire safety concerns in an emergency when the power goes out.
- As soon as the power goes out, check the building's breaker or fuse box. Look for smoke before touching or opening the box. If the door feels hot, do not open it. If you can safely touch the outside, turn the breaker box off to stop the flow of electricity and potential of starting a fire. Call the fire department and evacuate all people and pets until the fire department checks the building.
- Fires also start during power outages when using candles, oil lamps, and other lighting or heat sources. Never leave a flame unattended! Keep candles and oil lamps in safe areas away from children, pets, window drapes, and other flammable materials. Never leave young children alone with open flames either, as they could knock them over. Instead, use battery-operated lights and heaters.
- Check the wiring on buildings and prevent further damage. If the cause of faulty wiring is damage from rodents, you'll need to keep them from getting access to these critical components in the future. Block them with our protective Line Guard and Pole Guard systems.
Critters and squirrels can be a nuisance, gnawing electrical wires and causing blackouts. They then can be a threat to your safety with potential fires during these outages. To learn how to prevent blackouts and damage and to protect utilities with our barrier systems, contact us today!