What to do in a power failure

It’s never a perfect time when the power cuts out at home or work, but what makes matters worse is if you aren’t prepared.

Below is a helpful guide to help minimise the power outage impact on your house or work.

Is the power out or is it an electrical fault?

The first thing to do is to double check whether the power is out or whether it is an electrical fault.

There are two ways in which you can identify whether the power is out or whether the issue is localised to your home or work.

Check your surrounds

During the night it is easy to tell as all street lights and house lights will be out. During the day though you won’t be able to tell so easily, a quick text, call or knock on your neighbours door will be needed to see if they are experiencing the same issue.

If the power is out around the street the next step will be to find out if there is an estimated restore time. To do this you will need to visit your local power utility website to search your location.

If the power is on around your street then the problem may be with the fuse box or switchboard within your house. An electrician may be the best contact to resolve this.

Power outage tips

As mentioned above it is best to be prepared for power outages as you don’t want to be fumbling around your house or work in the dark using your phones flash to find those items you stashed away ‘somewhere safe’.

  • Always have a torch with charged batteries handy we would recommend keeping it in an easy to access location i.e. kitchen drawer.
  • If using candles ensure to use them carefully, positioning them on stable furniture and keeping them away from flammable objects.
  • For those who are frequent travellers you will no doubt have a portable phone battery charger pack. Ensure that it is always charged allowing you to wait out the outage with a fully charged phone.
  • Try to keep the refrigerator and freezer closed to ensure they stay cold for longer.
  • In extreme weather conditions (hot or cold) you will need to have handheld fans, flannels, water bottles and blankets etc handy to ensure everyone remains comfortable.
  • Remember that although the water supply may not be affected, if your home has an electric hot water system and you keep using it, the water will simply go cold. Consider this if you anticipate a long wait before power is restored.
  • If your water supply is from tanks or a bore, then alternatives to the normal electrical pressure pump should be investigated.
  • Take extra care on the roads if there has been a power outage especially if you are driving at night. Be aware that street lights and traffic lights may not be operating so take extra care.
  • It is important to turn off all major electrical appliances at the switch if possible, to ensure no damage occurs to your appliances via electrical surges or if appliances such as heaters or stoves turn back on without your knowledge.
  • Make sure that all taps are turned off if you use an electrical pressure pump. This will prevent flooding if supply is restored when you are not home.
  • Power interruptions that occur for a long time could cause food in the freezer to thaw and food in the fridge to become inedible. Consider whether to keep it or dispose of all food once power is restored.

Alternatively, if the power outage is going to be for an extended period of time, it might be best to visit nearby friends or family who have power, monitoring the fault online until it’s fine to go back home.

More than great energy.

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