Handy Hints Blog

Power Outage - How to be power smart when you're left in the dark

  • 14 Feb 2020

It’s a hot and humid evening, a storm comes rolling in and you just got comfortable on the couch. You got your snacks ready, the air conditioner is running, and the telly is streaming the game you’ve been looking forward to all week. Life is good.

But just when your team is about to score, this happens: The power goes out. Oh my. What now?

Don’t stress! Keep calm and follow these five steps to maintain your family’s safety and comfort during a power outage.

1. Check on your family

Regardless of what caused the issue, the very first thing you should do in a situation like this is check if your loved ones are okay.

Especially when you have no idea why the power went out, you should be extra careful and make sure that your kids don’t go near any faulty power outlets or appliances that might have caused the outage.

2. Investigate what caused the power outage

You’re probably wondering what lead to the outage – there might be something wrong with the TV, someone in the house might have plugged in too many appliances that caused the circuit to overload or the power outage might be the consequence of a fallen power line…

If you do see a fallen power line, stay away, warn others and call the Energex emergency line on 13 19 62.

To find the root of the issue, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your house the only one that’s affected?

Check if any other house on your street has power to narrow down the source of the outage. If the other houses are dark, then there’s usually a problem with the electrical grid. In this case you should call your distributer to find out if there are any known faults or outages in your area. If your neighbourhood is not affected by the outage, the problem lays elsewhere.

  • Has a switch in your fuse box tripped to the off position or have any fuses blown?

If the answer to this question is yes, then there might be an issue with the wiring or an appliance. In this case it’s best to call a qualified electrician who can assess the situation, so you don’t put yourself or your family in danger.

3. Turn off all electronics

  • Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances at the power points; that way you can help prevent damage to equipment that is sensitive to power surges.
  • Turn off light switches but keep one light on, so you'll know when the power comes back on.
  • In order for your food to stay cool for as long as possible, minimise the times you open your fridge and freezer, and if the food doesn't seem to be in a good condition anymore, remember: If in doubt, throw it out!

4. Start up a generator (but be extremely cautious!)

Generators are super handy to have to keep critical equipment operating when the power goes out, but they need to be used with caution:

  • Don't connect the output to the house switchboard or wiring, as this can be a safety risk.
  • Don’t use the generator in an enclosed building just as your house, garage or shed, as the exhaust fumes can be deadly!
  • Save fuel by running the generator periodically and turning it off when it's not needed.
  • Don't operate the generator in wet conditions.

If you don't necessarily need power straight away, consider waiting, as the power might come back on shortly.

You don’t have a generator? No problem, we can supply, install and test one for you! It’s always beneficial to plan ahead, so if you have people living with you that depend on appliances or electricity, it’s a good idea to have a generator installed in case of emergencies. Give us a call if you're interested to find out more.

5. See if your neighbours need assistance

If the power outage is areawide, check in with your neighbours (particularly those with special needs and the elderly) to see if they are okay; they will be thankful for the support.

We all know that there's never a convenient time for a power outage, but if you do find yourself left in the dark, don't hesitate to contact us! Our friendly electricians are here to help. Simply give us a call on 1300 712 028.

 

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