When the holidays roll around and your fridge starts filling up with goodies, having reliable power to that refrigerator is a must. But what happens to all of your delicious food if the power unexpectedly goes out?
If you’re unprepared for a power outage, it’ll be a race against the clock to make sure nothing goes bad before dinner time. Luckily with a little prep, you don’t have to risk serving a disappointing holiday meal.
Follow these four tips to protect your refrigerator full of goodies, so even if you have to break out candles for lighting, you can still present an amazing candlelit holiday spread.
Use Recommended Temperatures
With the right temperature settings in place, your refrigerated food will remain unspoiled for as long as possible in the unfortunate event of a power outage. According to the FDA, the ideal temperature for your freezer is 0° F (-18° C), while the fridge should be set to 40° F (4° C) or lower.
If your refrigerator isn’t already operating at these temperatures, change your settings today. (You can always change back to your preferred settings when the holidays are over!)
Set Up a “Power Out” Alert
Imagine opening up your refrigerator to realize the power has been out for…who knows how long. Was it two hours ago you reached in for a cold snack? Or three hours? Do you have time to save your food, or is it too late?
Save yourself the panic by setting up an automatic alert that lets you know immediately if your power goes out. Below are two recommended products you can use to set up a power-out alert for your fridge. Choose the one that fits your home best.
- Winland Power-Out Alert Sensor: This compact, easy-to-use, universal monitor simply plugs into any outlet (120VAC) on the circuit you need to monitor. Plug it in near your refrigerator and connect it to an alert device/system. The sensor has an attached 15-foot cord that wires into an existing alarm system, telephone dialer, or other emergency equipment. When power is interrupted for more than 3-8 minutes, the sensor triggers an alert. You can buy the Power-Out Sensor and compatible alerting devices at Home Controls: www.homecontrols.com/Winland-Power-Out-Alert-Sensor-WLPS110
- USP Power Loss Sensor: Similar to the Winland sensor, the Power Loss Sensor (made by United Security Products) plugs into an outlet (110VAC) in order to monitor the circuit for power. It connects to an existing alarm system using dry contact closure or SPDT relay to transmit power loss signals. You can buy the Power Loss Sensor and compatible devices at Home Controls: www.homecontrols.com/USP-Power-Loss-Sensor-USPLS
Monitor the Refrigerator’s Temperature
If your fridge starts to lose its chill, know before you taste it in your food by setting up a temperature sensor and alert. There are a couple different ways to do this:
- Install a Standalone Temperature Monitor: If you don’t have an existing home security or automation system, you can set up a standalone temperature monitoring system. Our recommended product available through Home Controls is the La Crosse Environmental Remote Monitoring System. Various complete kits are available for different environments (wet, dry, etc.). Assuming your fridge is generally dry, the Alert Kit with Dry Probe is recommended and you can buy it here: www.homecontrols.com/La-Crosse-Alerts-Temperature-Humidity-with-Dry-Probe-LCD111101E1WGB
- Add a Temperature Sensor to Your Home System: If your existing home security or automation system supports an external temperature sensor that is suitable for monitoring a refrigerator, go ahead and set up temperature alerts this way. Either call our tech support team for advice on which products work with your system, or check out your possible options online here.
You might also want to explore our additional temperature monitoring products: www.homecontrols.com/Categories/Temperature-Monitoring
Know What to Do When the Power Fails
In the unfortunate event that your refrigerator loses power, remember that you can protect your food best by adhering to one simple guideline – keep the doors closed. Your food will stay cold for about 4 hours in the refrigerator and up to 48 hours in a full freezer (24 hours when only half-full), especially if you had both of them set to their recommended temperatures.