Residential electrician in Los Angeles CA

Planning Ahead for Blackouts: How to Prep Your Los Angeles Home

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For many Californians, wildfires have become a way of life. To combat that, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), the state’s largest utility company, has announced that it will be using blackouts during high winds. These planned blackouts are meant to keep down the risk of fire from electrical equipment, particularly during high winds or other instances when there is a high risk of a wildfire starting. Since the utility has over 5 million customers, pre-emptive power shutdowns can affect any of its customers.

In light of the fact that these outages are anticipated to impact more than 20,000 customers in the high-risk areas of Northern California, you might be wondering how you can prepare for a potential outage. Here are some ways to prep your Los Angeles home and how a residential electrician in Los Angeles, CA, can assist you in installing alternative power options.

Understand Frequency of Outages Unclear

While the utility is aiming for a 48-hour notice to customers, the reality is that they are still not sure how frequently these shutdowns will occur. To make sure that you receive any advance notice, sign up for emergency alerts with your utility account. The company can send alerts through text messages, phone, or email. If you are renting, then follow the utility’s Twitter or Facebook pages to keep up to date.

It is also important to note that the length of the blackout could be up to 5 days, depending on the winds and increased fire risk.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

It is important to build or restock your emergency supply kit, especially in light of the fact that the length of the blackout is currently unknown. Make sure that you put in food, water, flashlights, a radio, fresh batteries, first aid supplies, and cash. The cash is particularly important, as ATMs in your area may be impacted by the lack of power.

Since a blackout can last for up to five days, it is important to make sure that your emergency kit includes enough food for that length of time. Plus, you will want to make sure it is food that can be prepared without electricity from a stove or need to be kept in a refrigerated setting.

Along with your emergency kit, make sure you have alternative cooling methods for any medications and a plan to address any medical needs or medical equipment that needs electricity.

Find Alternative Charging Sources

Since phones and tablets are such a part of daily life, you may need to purchase an alternative USB charging option for your electronics. There are several choices available through the Internet and big box stores.

Portable chargers can be easy to pack into an emergency kit or even carry with you. They can also be plugged into the wall and charged prior to the blackout, making sure that you have enough power to charge your device. Keep in mind that depending on the portable charger, you might only be able to get one or two charges out of these chargers. That means if the power is out for several days, you may need to consider having several portable chargers handy.

Consider Installing a Generator

If you own your home, it might be worth considering the installation of a generator to help handle some of the power needs of your home during the blackout. There are multiple options available, allowing you to power the whole home for several days or give you the ability to just power a few key items in your home, such as the refrigerator.

Additionally, you may want to consider the installation of solar panels through a residential solar system. Our experienced team can assist you in determining if a solar system is the right choice for your home, as well as help you to determine what your power needs are.

If you choose either of these options, it is important to work with an experienced and licensed residential electrician in Los Angeles, CA. They can be sure your electrical wiring is up to date and can handle the addition of a generator or solar panels.

The blackouts are focused on containing a potential fire hazard. By taking the time to prepare in advance for a blackout, you will be able to weather the few days without traditional power from the utility. Recognize that preparation should be done right away, to be sure you are ready as the threat of wildfire continues.

To learn more about solar panels and residential solar options, contact our skilled and knowledgeable residential electricians today.

Signal Alarms and Electric is an electrical contractor in Southern California providing full capacity electrical contracting services for new construction, renovations, tenant improvements, service upgrades, exterior, interior and landscape lighting, retrofits and service installations in the Southern California/Los Angeles County area.