Power Outage

Most power outages will be over almost as soon as they begin, but some can last much longer – days or even weeks.

To Report a Power Outage call:

Alectra Utilities (24/7): 1.877.963.6900

During a Power Outage:

  • First, check whether the power outage is limited to your home. If your neighbour’s power is still on, check your own circuit breaker panel or fuse box.
  • If your neighbour’s power is also out, notify your electric supply authority.
  • Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored.
  • Turn off all lights, except one.
  • Don’t open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment or home generators indoors.
  • Use proper candles holders. Never leave lit candles unattended and keep out of reach of children. Extinguish candles before going to bed.
  • Listen to your battery-powered or crank radio for information on the outage and advice from authorities.
  • Make sure your home has a working carbon monoxide detector that has battery backup.
  • Protect sensitive electrical appliances with a surge-protecting power bar.

Food Safety and Power Outages

  • Food in the fridge should be safe as long as the power is back on within a few hours. After that you may have to discard most foods. See list below for the types of food that should be thrown out.
  • Freezer doors should be kept closed. A full freezer will stay at freezing temperature for two days; a half full freezer for about one day. Frozen food can be refrozen if ice crystals are still present. Some foods may lose some flavour but they will be safe to eat.
  • Remember
    • You can’t rely on appearance or odour.
    • Never taste food to determine its safety.
    • Some foods may look and smell fine but if they have been in the fridge for too many hours without electricity at room temperature, food poisoning bacteria may have multiplied enough to cause illness if eaten.
  • Food to throw away from the fridge if above 4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than two hours
    • Non-vacuum packed deli meats (cold cuts).
    • Soft cheeses.
    • Wieners.
    • Cooked dishes such as pasta, casseroles, stew, baked potatoes.
    • Raw ground meat including beef, pork, and chicken.
    • Fish and other seafood (unless smoked or cured or pickled).
    • Eggs.
    • Milk, cream, yogurt.
    • Opened baby formula.
    • Garlic in oil or butter.
  • Food to throw away if above 4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than four hours
  • Hard cheeses.
  • Solid pieces of meat such a steaks or roasts.

If you use a candle, here are some safety tips

  • Use well ventilated holders that are sturdy and will not tip over.
  • Keep burning candles away from materials that can catch fire (like curtains, decorations, clothing).
  • Keep burning candles out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not leave burning candles unattended.
  • Extinguish all candles before you go to sleep.

After Power Returns

  • Switch on the main electric switch after checking to ensure appliances, heaters, TVs, microwaves, computers, etc. are unplugged.
  • Plug in only the most essential appliances. Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize before reconnecting tools and appliances by waiting 10-15 minutes to plug in non-essential items.
  • Turn on the water supply.
  • Make sure the hot water heater is filled before turning its power back on.
  • Reset your clocks, automatic timers, and alarms.
  • Check that the freezer and refrigerator are working and if any food needs immediate attention.

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