Losing power could cost you thousands: How to stay safe and save money

Local News

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — Losing power from things like ice can lead to problems that could make you sick and damage your home.

A local heating and plumbing company gave us some tips on how you can be ready for this weekend.

According to a report by Kohler Generators, american households face about $150B in power outage-related expenses each year.

When there’s no heat, you might be tempted to turn on your gas stove and oven to warm up the house.

“Running a gas heater in an enclosed space which is your house without fresh air begins to be a carbon monoxide concern,” Jason Smithmyer from Smithmyer Plumbing and Heating, said.

He suggested keeping the fridge doors closed as much as possible to protect your food during an outage.

“Your freezer, when things start to thaw and get wet, it’s probably better to throw it away at that point. Food poisoning is nothing to mess around with and you don’t want something spoiled,” he said.

Frozen pipes are the most expensive to repair, potentially costing $10,000.

To stay safe and avoid possibly spending thousands on repairs, Smithmyer said to keep an eye on places where pipes tend to freeze in your home.

“The only thing we really recommend is letting a tap run, opening up the faucet to a small drip or a steady drip,” he said.

When you’re expecting bad weather, only buy the essentials, like batteries, and make sure to check in with friends, family, and neighbors.

“It is a good idea to keep in touch with everybody. Make sure everybody has the right things that they need, and in a timely manner, because that is a situation out of the normal,” Smithmyer said.

When it comes time to clear off your car or shovel your sidewalks, don’t be scared to ask for help if you can’t safely do it on your own.

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