Safety tips if you are part of the controlled blackouts or lose power

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Fire Department and the City of Topeka are using social media to prepare residents for rolling blackouts during the extreme temperatures.

Controlled blackouts in Kansas are being used to control the demand for electricity as extreme temperatures sweep through Northeast Kansas.

Evergy began to turn off electricity to blocks of customers for approximately 30 – 60 minutes.

Safety tips to remember:

• If you use an internet service provider for your home phone it will most likely not work. To call 911 make sure you use a cell phone.

• Central heaters and most space heaters will not work without electricity. It is critical you do not try and modify your heating appliances to try and work without electricity.

Do not use gas-powered heaters intended for outside use inside your house. While it will be tempting to use patio heaters or other gas heaters inside, it is not safe. These heaters are not rated for use indoors and may produce unsafe levels of Carbon Monoxide and other gasses that are Toxic. Furthermore, outdoor heaters may start items on fire inside your home that a normal space heater would not.

Take extreme care burning a fireplace. Wood burning fireplaces should only be used with clean dry firewood. Do not burn household items such as large amounts of paper, plastics, or furniture. Items beside firewood can produce heavy smoke that has many more toxic chemicals than normal smoke and can ultimately cause a chimney fire.

Do not use gas stoves and ovens as a heat source. These appliances are rated for cooking. If used to try and heat a house they could cause a fire or produce unsafe levels of Carbon Monoxide.

Open up the cabinets under your sinks and other places where there is plumbing. Keeping these spaces open to the rest of the home will help the pipes from freezing for a longer period of time.

Do not thaw frozen pipes with open flame devices. A torch is tempting to use to thaw frozen pipes, but the extreme heat they produce can set other combustible materials near pipes on fire.

If you have a sudden onset of dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. It might be symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Exit your home immediately and call 911.

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