What to know about about power outage, carbon monoxide safety

Over 50,000 customers in Texas are without power due to a winter storm.

February 03, 2022, 9:03 AM

Over 50,000 customers are in the dark in Texas Thursday morning as a winter storm pummels the state with snow and ice.

Here are safety tips to keep in mind:

Ahead of an outage, federal emergency officials advise installing carbon monoxide detectors and stocking up on batteries.

PHOTO: Eithan Colindres wears a winter coat inside after the apartment his family lives in the Greenspoint area that lost power following an overnight snowfall on Feb. 15, 2021, in Houston.
Eithan Colindres wears a winter coat inside after the apartment his family lives in the Greenspoint area that lost power following an overnight snowfall on Feb. 15, 2021, in Houston. Temperatures plunged into the teens Monday with light snow and freezing rain.
Brett Coomer/AP

During a power outage, it is important to be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home, and only use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills when you are outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows, FEMA officials said.

 

Keep freezers and refrigerators closed during the power outage and buy food that doesn't require refrigeration. The fridge will keep food cold for about four hours while a freezer will maintain the temperature for about 48 hours, officials said. Another option is storing food in coolers with ice.

FEMA officials recommend storing a thermometer in the fridge and freezer; once power is restored, throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.

PHOTO: A gas station is closed due to power outage in Houston on Feb. 15, 2021. Up to 2.5 million customers were without power in Texas Monday morning as the state's power generation capacity is impacted by an ongoing winter storm brought by Arctic blast.
A gas station is closed due to power outage in Houston on Feb. 15, 2021. Up to 2.5 million customers were without power in the state of Texas Monday morning as the state's power generation capacity is impacted by an ongoing winter storm brought by Arctic blast.
Chengyue Lao/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Due to a shortage of electricity in the region, the lights and screens in front of American Airlines Center are turned off on Feb. 15, 2021, saving electricity resources in Dallas.
Due to a shortage of electricity in the region, the lights and screens in front of American Airlines Center are turned off on Feb. 15, 2021, saving electricity resources in Dallas.
Brandon Wade/AP

If the power is out for more than one day, throw out any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the label says otherwise, FEMA officials said.

While trying to stay warm, officials in Bexar County, Texas, recommend closing the blinds to keep in some heat, closing off rooms to avoid wasting heat and stuffing towels or tags in cracks under doors.

 

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