Seattle's Home Inspection Team (206) 295-4330
: November 2011

Stormy day in the Northwest, are you ready for a power outage?

How will you heat your home when the power goes out?

If you have a gas fireplace, be sure it will work when the power is off.  Turn off the electricity and see if you can light it. Some fireplaces will light ONLY IF THE PILOT IS LIT BEFORE THE POWER IS OFF!  Others have batteries, and we find old crusty corroded batteries all the time.  If your fireplace has a battery holder under the lower vent, be sure to keep some on hand in a drawer.  Don't leave batteries in the fireplace, or when the time comes to use it, you may find the contacts all corroded and it wont light. 

If you have a fireplace or other wood burning appliances, be sure to have the flues swept and examined for damage. This is often the most neglected part of the home since its somewhat of a specialty to maintain them.

Other power failure tips

  1. Everyone should have one old fashioned land line, cordless phones will not work.  
  2. Be sure you have a cell phone charger that will work in your car. 
  3. Don't open the freezer at all.  A cold freezer that is full will stay cold for a long time if you don't open it.
  4. Those on wells, make sure you have stored extra water. 
  5. If your home has a sump-pump, be sure to keep a clear path to it in case you end up bailing water out.
  6. If your home has a sanitary pump, be sure not to use any plumbing connected to it.
  7. In the day of Ipods,  many people don't have AM/FM battery powered radios any more, get one.
  8. Keep plenty of batteries and flashlights on hand.  Of course use extreme care with candles!
  9. If you use a generator, double check where the exhaust is venting, and you MUST have a carbon monoxide detector in your home!!


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Stormy day in the Northwest, are you ready for a power outage?
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How will you heat your home when the power goes out? If you have a gas fireplace, be sure it will work when the power is off. Turn off the electricity and see if you can light it. Some fireplaces will light ONLY IF THE PILOT IS LIT BEFORE THE… more