Picture this: you’re at home and just settling in for a nice movie, cozy and comfortable, when suddenly the lights flicker and go out. Your TV screen goes black and the hum of appliances fades away. There you are sitting in the quiet darkness wondering what needs to happen next.

Power outages happen for a variety of reasons from severe weather to technical issues – and they often catch us off guard. However, being prepared and knowing what to do when the lights go out can help you maintain your safety, your comfortability, and your sanity – especially during the cold and dark winter months.

At Ashbusters Milwaukee we want our customers to be well-equipped for anything. And when it comes to power outages, your fireplace can play a huge role in this – if you invest in regular chimney sweep and fireplace repair services. Read our tips below and call us in for your next appointment. We’d love to have your back.

Tip 1: Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

someone hold a lit white candle up to a fuse boxThe first – and most crucial – step when the power goes out is to stay calm. Panicking won’t solve the problem, but a clear mind will help you assess the situation. A lot of information can be quickly learned with some level-headed observation. 

Is the outage limited to your home or is it a broader issue in your neighborhood? Are there indicators as to the cause of the outage such as weather, a blown transformer, a downed power-line…? Keeping calm will help you make wise decisions going forward.

Tip 2: Inform Others & Establish Communication

If you have people living with you in your home make sure that everyone is able to communicate with each other. If you have neighbors close by, now is a great time to check in with them and see what they are up to and if their power is out too. While your home internet is no longer working, it is often likely that cellular service is still available. In extreme situations, radios can be used to establish connections with other people.

Communicating allows you to share information, share resources, and give and receive assistance as needs arise.

If the weather is already bad, be proactive – make sure your mobile devices are charged, and consider investing in a backup power source, such as a portable charger, to keep them operational.

Tip 3: Create a Safe Environment

We often take for granted the many ways in which electricity helps us operate each day. If you suddenly find you don’t have it, your home can present a number of challenges that you may not have thought about before.

For instance, keeping stairways clear may not seem quite as important when we can see, but when it’s dark, they can become danger zones. In addition, you’ll quickly notice your heat isn’t running when everything else goes out – and in the winter time, your home can get chilly quickly.

Make sure you have alternate light sources available and ready. Battery-operated flashlights are an important tool to have available. Extra blankets for warmth should be available too. And perhaps the most important tool to have in your tool belt, should you find yourself without power, is a fireplace or wood stove with ready to burn firewood.

Tip 4: Take Advantage of Your Fireplace/Wood Stove

When the power goes out and the whole world seems to be dark there is no better way to keep warm and provide your home with light than a roaring fire in the fireplace. Here are some of the advantages that your fireplace will give you.

  1. a lit fireplace in an otherwise dark roomWarmth & Comfort: One of the most immediate benefits of lighting a fire is the warmth it provides. During a power outage, heating systems are rendered useless, making your home chilly and uncomfortable. In extreme weather, bursting pipes and freezing temperatures become a threat to an unheated home. A crackling fire in the fireplace or wood stove becomes a natural and inviting heat source, creating a cozy atmosphere for you and your loved ones.
  2. Cooking & Boiling Water: If you have a fireplace or wood stove with a cooking grate, you can use it as an improvised stove. While it may not replace your electric or gas stove entirely, it can be handy for boiling water, warming up canned food, or even cooking simple meals. Having this alternative cooking method can make a significant difference, especially if the power outage persists for an extended period.
  3. Light Source: Beyond its heating capabilities, a fireplace serves as a reliable source of light. The flickering flames cast a warm and gentle glow, providing a comforting ambiance in the darkness. This can be especially beneficial for keeping spirits high and maintaining a sense of normalcy during an otherwise challenging time.

Need Chimney Sweep Services in Milwaukee? Call On Us

Ashbusters Milwaukee provides our community with a team of fireplace and wood stove experts that will do everything from fireplace or wood stove installation to chimney maintenance and repair. Our technicians are expertly trained, experienced professionals who can help you make sure that the next time you find yourself without power, you are not without light, warmth, and comfort.

Call us today or reach out online to find out how we can help you soon.