Tips for Winter Safety and Comfort | February 7, 2013 Tips for Winter Storm Safety & Comfort A damaging winter storm is forecasted to hit much of the Northeastern U.S. this weekend. The snow will start Friday morning and continue into Friday night and Saturday, getting stronger along the way. Travel may become nearly impossible in many states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. In storms of this caliber, there is potential for widespread power outages. Power outage experts recommend a few simple steps families can take that can make a significant difference in their comfort and safety levels. Stay warm during a power outage Immediately after a power outage, it’s important to conserve the existing heat in the home. Close off unneeded rooms, block drafts from windows and doors with towels and close blinds and draperies to retain heat. Avoid going in and out if possible, and try to monitor the temperature to ensure small children are not in danger. Maintaining body heat is essential to staying warm. Make sure there are enough blankets for everyone in the household, and check that everyone is wearing layers of warm clothing. Have extra coats, scarves, gloves, socks and layers ready. If clothing gets wet, change into dry clothing as quickly as possible to avoid losing existing body heat. Power home appliances with a portable generator Portable generators are an ideal solution immediately following a power outage to run a home’s appliances. They are readily available at most hardware stores and require no installation only set-up time. Since portable generators emit poisonous carbon monoxide, portable generators must be operated safely and according to operating instructions. Portable generators should never be used indoors or within a garage or enclosed spaces. They must be placed away from open windows, doors or areas where fumes could draft inside of the home. Always use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector when running a portable generator to prevent the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. For additional safety tips, read Briggs & Stratton’s portable generator information guide and always follow the specific manufacturer’s instructions before operating a portable generator. Find a permanent backup power solution with a standby generator Preparation ahead of a storm is the best insurance for maintaining comfort and safety during an outage while keeping costs associated with an outage (like food spoilage) at a minimum. Before the next winter storm sweeps [location], plan ahead and consider installing a standby generator. Standby generators provide whole-house backup power and keep families safe, comfortable and worry-free during an outage. When utility power is knocked out by raging winds and snow, a standby generator automatically kicks on, seamlessly powering a home’s most essential needs, like its furnace. Unlike portable generators, standby generators cannot be setup by homeowners. Allowing a few weeks for the generator installation process is important. Learn more about standby generators by reading the Briggs & Stratton’s standby generator guide.