Power outages are often caused by freezing rain, sleet storms and high winds which damage power lines and equipment. Cold snaps or heat waves can also overload the electric power system.
If the power goes out, check with Vaughan’s local power provider, Alectra Utilities Inc., for more information.
During a power outage
- First check to see if neighbors have power. If no other home or building is experiencing a power outage, check the main fuse in the electric service panel or fuse box to ensure a fuse has not been blown or the main circuit breaker has not been tripped.
- If the power is out at homes in the surrounding area, notify Alectra Utilities Inc.
- Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment.
- Turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to a low setting to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored.
- Do not open the freezer or fridge unless it is necessary – a full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.
- Listen to a battery-powered or crank radio for information on the outage and advice from authorities.
What to do after a power outage
- Replace the furnace fuel (if removed) and turn off the fuel to the standby heating unit.
- Turn on the main electric switch, but check beforehand to ensure all household appliances and electronics are unplugged to prevent damage from a power surge.
- Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize before reconnecting tools and appliances.
- Turn the heating system thermostats up first, then after a few minutes reconnect the fridge and freezer – wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting all other tools and appliances.
- Close the drain valve in the basement.
- Turn on the water supply – close valves/taps on lower levels and open taps starting from the highest level downwards to allow air to escape.
- Make sure the hot water heater is filled before turning its power on.
- Check food supplies in refrigerators, freezers and cupboards for signs of spoilage. If a freezer door has been kept closed, food should stay frozen for 24 to 36 hours, depending on the temperature. When food begins to defrost (usually after two days), it should be cooked – otherwise it should be thrown out.
- As a general precaution, keep a bag of ice cubes in the freezer. If the ice has melted and refrozen, there is a good chance the food is spoiled.
- Reset clocks, automatic timers and alarms.