What to do when the power goes out.
Most power outages last for just a few moments. In extreme
cases such as severe weather, outages can last for more than
a day. Because power failures do happen, it makes sense to
be prepared for them. Print off a copy of this information
and keep it with your emergency supplies.
Keep a stock of emergency supplies where you
can easily find them in the dark. Your basic emergency kit
* a flashlight and fresh batteries
* candles, matches, and candleholders
* a transistor radio
* a non-electric clock
* food and water provisions
Portable stoves, lamps and other camping equipment
can be useful. But they should be stored - along with their
fuels - in a shed or garage that is separated from the house.
Liquid fuels give off combustible vapours and should be kept
outside the house at all times. Outdoor and charcoal barbecues
should never be used indoors. They are a fire and safety hazard,
and can give off deadly carbon monoxide.
During lengthy outages additional supplies may be required.
Natural disasters such as the ice storm of 1998 could cause
more lengthy outages due to a more significant impact on our
As a general rule, you should be prepared to
be self-reliant by having adequate backup power for a minimum
of two hours in the event of a power outage. If power is out
for longer than two hours, you are responsible for moving
to a hospital or area that has power. Please contact us at
(905) 895-2309 if you have this type of equipment. We will
do our best to make you aware of any extended power outages.
Portable GeneratorsHome generators can be useful during a
power outage, but they can also be very dangerous if they
are not used properly. It is not permissible to connect a
home portable generator directly to a house wiring system
without the proper installation of a CSA-approved transfer
switch acceptable to Newmarket Hydro, and with local electrical
inspector approval. Serious accidents can result when a home
generator is connected to an existing electrical system. If
a flow of energy from a home generator follows the electrical
lines back to the transformer and the energy is transformed
to a higher voltage, the lives of utility employees working
on the lines nearby are endangered.
* Follow the manufacturer's instructions
* Connect lights and appliances directly to the generator.
If extension cords must be used, ensure they are properly
rated, and CSA approved.
For more information on the correct way to connect
your standby or portable generator, call your electrical contractor
or the electrical inspector in your area.
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Determine whether the power failure is limited
to your home.
* If your neighbour's power is still on, check your own circuit
breaker panel or fuse box. When operating a breaker, always
face away from the panel.
* If your neighbour's power is off, call Newmarket Hydro.
* We urge customers to call us, as this helps
determine the extent of the outage. But please do not keep
calling. We will be on the job as quickly as possible - repeated
calls may delay other customers from reporting new problems.
* To report an outage, call (905)895-2309.
If you see a downed power line, please call
us with the exact location. Keep back a minimum of 10 metres
(33 feet) from the wires or anything in contact with them
and warn others of the danger. Always assume that the lines
* Appliance or tools left on will start up automatically
upon restoration of service; turning them off will prevent
injury or fire.
* If a power surge follows startup, it could damage sensitive
electronic equipment such as computers, microwaves, and VCRs.
* Power can be restored more easily by reducing the load on
the electric system.
If you leave your home during the outage make sure your range
is turned off and all other heat-producing appliances, such
as your iron, are unplugged. This will minimize the risk of
fire when power is restored.
* Leave one light switch on so you know when
the power is restored.
* Only open your freezer or fridge when absolutely necessary.
A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 48 hours if
the door remains closed.
* Don't use barbecues, portable generators, or propane or
kerosene heaters indoors. They are for outdoor use where there
is proper ventilation.
* Use proper candle holders. Never leave them unattended.
* Check to make sure your refrigerator and freezer
are back on. Check your freezer guide to determine whether
food can be safely re-frozen.
* Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize. Turn on
the most essential appliances first, and wait 10 to 15 minutes
before reconnecting the others.
* Remember to reset your clocks, automatic timers, and alarms.
* Restock your emergency cupboard so the supplies will be
there when they are needed again.
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