With a blizzard expected to hit Newfoundland on Friday morning, the St. John's Regional Fire Department has some tips for keeping safe during nasty weather and potential power outages.
As much as 70 centimetres of snow is expected to fall by the time the time the blizzard runs its course on Saturday.
The storm — which will feature a steady stream of snowfall over more than a day — will be whipped up by high winds, likely causing prolonged whiteout conditions, and posing a threat to local power lines.
Smoke detectors can save lives, so make sure carbon monoxide and smoke alarms have battery backups in case the power goes out.
If a fire does break out, it's important to have an escape plan, so practise one with your household. If the power goes out, don't use candles to light your way through the dark.
Flashlights and battery-operated lanterns are a better alternative.
Another fire hazard is using a propane or charcoal barbecue inside your house. The fire department warns against bringing or using these inside.
Generators can help, but be careful
If you have a generator to use for power during an outage, test it beforehand to make sure it works. When you use a generator, make sure it isn't turned on indoors. Use a safe place outside the house where the exhaust fumes won't enter your home.
Don't store fuel for the generator indoors either. Portable space heaters can work, but make sure they are designed for indoor use and always follow the instructions provided. Open a window slightly while the heater is turned on to properly ventilate, too.
Finally, unplug your electric stoves and small appliances, so fires don't occur when the power comes back on. Having a mobile, non-cordless phone will also be handy if the power goes out.