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How to Handle a Power Outage

A man, visible only as a faint silhouette, is using a flashlight to investigate a home fuse box in his basement during a power outage.

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If you’re reading this, its more than likely the power has gone out.

Unexpected power outages can occur at any time and often without warning. Whether caused by severe weather, utility work, or other incidents, losing power can lead to inconvenience and safety concerns. 

As Nassau County Long Island’s trusted electrical authority, Haines Electric is here to guide you through the darkness and back into the light. Here are some essential tips on how to handle a power outage safely and efficiently.

Stay Calm and Illuminate

The moment the lights flicker off, it’s crucial to maintain a calm demeanor. Panic only leads to chaos. Notify everyone in the house about the outage. To navigate safely, use flashlights and battery-powered lanterns. Candles might seem cozy, but they pose a significant fire risk, especially in the dark when it’s harder to keep an eye on an open flame.

Lit yellow flashlight

Check Emergency Medical Equipment

Your first step is to think if anyone in your household is using essential breathing or other medical machines that rely on electricity. Here are some examples of devices that you should consider:

  • Oxygen concentrators
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines
  • Ventilators
  • Nebulizers
  • BiPAP machines
  • Home dialysis machines
  • Electric wheelchairs or scooters
  • Electric hospital beds
  • Powered lift chairs
  • Insulin pumps


Ensuring the availability of electricity is crucial for the uninterrupted use of these devices and the well-being of those who rely on them. Before you do anything else, grab a light and inspect all equipment and get those in need medical help ASAP.

Assessing The Situation

Once everyone is safe with a light source, quickly evaluate whether the power outage is limited to your home or is more widespread. Check if your neighbors’ homes are also dark. If it’s just your house, inspect your circuit breaker or fuse box for any tripped switches or blown fuses. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as flipping a switch. 

If the issue appears to be outside your control, report the outage to your utility company promptly. Remember to stay away from any downed power lines and report them to the authorities immediately.

Protect Your Appliances and Food

One of the next things you should do is unplug your electrical appliances. Power outages can lead to power surges when electricity is restored, potentially damaging sensitive electronics. By disconnecting your devices, you also reduce the risk of fires.

Keep Food Cold

As for your perishables, keep refrigerator and freezer doors shut as much as possible. An unopened fridge can keep food cold for about four hours, while a full freezer can maintain its temperature for 48 hours if not opened.

While it might be tempting to dig in when you’re bored in the dark, your best bet is keeping the fridge and freezer closed as long as possible.

Garage Doors

Modern conveniences such as an electric garage door opener become obsolete during an outage. Refrain from manually opening your garage door if you’re not familiar with the manual override feature, as it could lead to injury or damage.

Avoid Power Lines and Interior Electrical Lines

A critical safety reminder: never touch downed power lines or approach debris that’s in contact with them. Always assume power lines are live and dangerous. Report downed lines to the authorities immediately.

If your power is out due to flooding or storm waters, do not touch any electrical equipment in your home that has come in contact with water. Haines Electric wants you to be aware, this is a life or death situation and knowledge is power. Be safe, not sorry.

Portable Generator Use with Caution

If you have a portable generator, remember that it should only be used outdoors and away from windows to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions carefully, making sure you understand how to operate your unit before an emergency arises.

Invest in Peace of Mind with Home Generator Installation

Interested in avoiding the inconvenience of a power outage altogether? Haines Electric offers home generator installation services in Nassau County, Long Island. to ensure you remain powered during outages. A professionally installed home generator provides a seamless transition of power, keeping your essentials running without interruption.

Our expert team can assess your needs and recommend the best generator for your home. Plus, our installation process is quick, efficient, and adheres to all safety regulations, giving you peace of mind no matter the weather.

Don’t get left in the dark. Contact Haines Electric today to discuss your home generator options and to find out more about our comprehensive electrical services.

With over 50 years of experience, Haines Electric is a trusted team of local electricians serving Nassau County, Long Island. Committed to excellence, we offer transparent pricing, safety-focused services, and a 3-year warranty on equipment. 

With 3 master electricians on board, we prioritize exceeding customer expectations while ensuring clean, courteous service. 

Trust Haines Electric for reliable, efficient electrical solutions that prioritize customer satisfaction.