Seattle Commercial & Industrial Electrical Contractor
4826 B Street NW Suite 101 Auburn, WA 98001
Mon-Fri: 7AM- 4PM
02 Oct 2015

Fall and Winter Power Outage Preparation

The last major power outage in the Pacific Northwest was 5 years ago in November 2010. A week-long deep freeze resulted in a power outage for most home owners and businesses across the state. While our winters here in the Greater Seattle area never get nearly as bad as temperature drops in other locations, it is still important to prepare for electricity shortages caused by bad weather. Here are a few power outage preparation tips to get your business or home ready for the upcoming winter weather season.

1. Prepare and Stock an Emergency Kit

This will included the essentials, and any additional needs specific to your family or employees.

  • Water: 1 gallon per person, per day and a 3 day supply minimum
  • Non-perishable food
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Medications
  • Sanitation options
  • Extra cash

2. Keep a Full Tank of Gas

Many gas stations will not be able to supply gas during a power outage unless they carry back-up generators, so it is important to keep a full tank of gas—especially when you hear that a storm is in the forecast, along with a gasoline container stored in a safe place. Even if nearby gas stations still have power during an outage, many will inevitably be out of gas if the outage is due to freezing temperatures, since trucks delivering the gas cannot make it through the ice to supply stations. Share this tip with your teams at your business to help with individual employees’ safety.

3. Don’t Forget About Pets

Businesses that are pet friendly or homes that have four-legged family members sometimes forget to stock up on additional pet food, supplies, and any medications the animals are taking. And for the pets that need electricity for heat lamps or water pumps, make sure you have a battery operated back-up option to keep them safe and happy. Scaly, furry, and feathered family members will be glad you did in the event of an emergency.

Why Power Outage Preparation Matters

While not many weather-related power outages can be prevented, they can be prepared for. Becoming knowledgeable about electricity will help alíviate some of the stress from unexpected changes in our daily routines. Keeping your business or home as close to highly functioning through an electrical outage can be a more manageable feat when you’re prepared.

Even without power outages, are your electrical systems up to par? Contact Kirby Electric for more information on upgrading your lighting, electrical panels, and other important systems to make your office or warehouse safer and more efficient throughout the year.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric, Inc. is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians, low voltage technicians and office staff are led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is consistently delivering exceptional service. Kirby Electric offers a wide array of services to meet the needs of our customers and ensure a smooth operation of their facilities. Learn more about our services by calling 253-859-2000.

09 Jan 2015

5 Power Outage Preparedness Tips

Pouring glass of bottled water
Bottled water can be a safe alternative to tap during power outages

Even one localized power outage can make work and home life uncomfortable and even unsafe. Prepare with these tips from the CDC to ensure safety during the next Washington power outage.

1. Stay Warm

Avoid hypothermia with blankets and layered clothes like jackets, shirts, and sweaters. Top outfits off with a hat (close-fitting stocking caps can be especially insulating against cold). Gloves, scarves, and legwarmers can also aid in maintaining body heat. Exercise is another great way to naturally warm up. If a full workout isn’t possible, even walking around indoors can help.

2. Keep Food Cold

Food in the refrigerator and freezer can be safely eaten if the outage lasts under four hours, the CDC advises. If outages are longer, avoid eating anything spoiled by putting a food thermometer in dishes or fixings before you use them, tossing anything that registers warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Avoid Tap Water

Treated, boiled, or bottled water can be safer than tap if an electricity outage affects the purification process. Tip: bottled water is a great emergency kit component, but don’t forget to check the expiration dates periodically and replace expired bottles as needed.

4. Be Prepared for Power Lines

Do you know what to do if a power line lands on your car while you’re inside? Exit the car only if it is on fire, the CDC cautions. To safely exit, jump out so you are in mid-air before reaching the ground, then shuffle 50 or more feet from the car, keeping both feet in contact with the ground as much as possible.

 5. Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Even in dire circumstances, charcoal grills and camp stoves should not be ignited inside any type of enclosed area or building. When the power is out, gas stovetops and ovens become dangerous, so you’ll need to seek substitute heating and cooking methods. The CDC also recommends mounting a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector that will alert you to danger even if electricity fails.

Stay safe when using generators by never running a generator indoors. Keep your generator as far outside of your home as possible so carbon monoxide stays out of the house and garage.

How can your home or business stay safer during winter storms and electrical outages? Kirby Electric installs systems for carbon monoxide monitoring so you can concentrate on getting through power outages with less stress. Request a quote to learn more about carbon monoxide monitoring and safety systems for your home or workplace.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric is a premier Seattle electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical contracting. As your local commercial electrician, we can help with any electrical needs when it comes to upgrading older buildings, including equipment hook ups, rewiring or relocating panels, and lighting upgrades. We also work with electrical companies like Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Public Utilities, Lakeview Power and others that will provide a rebate for upgrading to a more efficient lighting upon approval of the project. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to get a quote.