Damaged or downed utility lines can present a fire and life safety hazard. Assume all wires on the ground are electrically charged. This includes cable TV feeds.
Water damaged appliances and utilities can be electrically charged.
Leaking gas lines, damaged or leaking gas propane containers, and leaking vehicle gas tanks may explode or ignite.
Generators that are not properly used and maintained can be hazardous.
Look for combustible liquids like gasoline, lighter fluid, and paint thinner that may have spilled. Thoroughly clean the spill and place containers in a well-ventilated area.
If your home has sustained flood or water damage, and you can safely get to the main breaker or fuse box, turn off the power.
Have a licensed electrician check your home for damage.
Smell and listen for leaky gas connections. If you believe there is a gas leak, immediately leave the house and leave the door(s) open.
Never strike a match. Any size flame can spark an explosion.
Before turning the gas back on, have the gas system checked by a professional.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines when using generators.
Use a generator or other fuel-powered machines outside the home. CO fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
Never connect generators to another power source such as power lines. The reverse flow of electricity or "back feed" can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.
Do not use the kitchen oven range to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes.
Alternative heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away. Make sure your alternative heaters have "tip switches." These are designed to automatically turn off the heater in the event they tip over.
Only use the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer and follow suggested guidelines.
Never refill a space heater while it is operating or still hot. Refuel heaters only outdoors.
Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, and at least three feet away from combustible materials. Ensure they have the proper floor support and adequate ventilation.
Be careful when using candles. Keep the flame away from combustible objects and out of the reach of children.
Some smoke alarms may be dependent on your home's electrical service and could be inoperative during a power outage. Check to see if your smoke alarm uses a back-up battery and install a new battery at least once a year. If there is a fire hydrant near your home, keep it clear of debris for easy access by the fire department.