You’re chilling while watching your favourite tv show until you hear loud noises outside. It was chaotic—strong winds and heavy downpours. You close your windows tightly, and as you sit back down — the power is suddenly out.
Electrical blackouts are pretty common during storms. These outages are often caused by frozen rain, sleet storms, and high winds, damaging power lines and equipment. Most of them are fixed the moment they begin, but some last much longer — up to days or weeks.
Sydney residents have been waking up to a cold morning for the past few months. Thousands of homes experienced power outages that lasted for quite a while. During the recent storm that hit the locality, about 20,000 Essential Energy were damaged, and 3,400 customers were affected.
You can never go wrong with proper planning and preparation. Having a blackout plan is essential for every household. It’ll ensure our families safety.
Here are 10 immediate steps you need to take during electrical blackouts:
1. Confirm and Note
When the power is out, confirm what’s happening. You can check your main electric panel to see if a breaker tripped. The problem is likely more than a local event if there’s none. Due to the heavy storms, there might be damaged power lines and affected energy service providers.
Also, note when the power went off so you can monitor and provide information when calling your electricity provider.
2. Turn off
Don’t forget to turn off or unplug your electric appliances and devices, especially anything that involves heating, to prevent accidents and equipment damage in the event of power surges and overloads. Installing surge protectors beforehand is also recommended for blackouts and general situations to protect your appliances from harm.
3. Keep your fridges closed
In times of emergency, food is at the top of our priorities. When there is a power outage, our fridges will stop working. To protect perishable food, keep your refrigerators and freezers closed. Opening the doors will allow the coolness to escape. Hence, your food will spoil faster.
If you keep the refrigerator close, it will keep the food cold for four hours. Freezers will keep the temperature for about 48 hours, in case of longer blackouts.
4. Use flashlights
Use flashlights or any battery-operated lighting sources only when needed for immediate use instead of candles and kerosene lanterns. The latter can cause fire emergencies, especially when left unattended.
5. Keep your family comfortable
Make sure your families know what to do during electrical blackouts. We are exposed to extreme cold, heat, or any storm dangers during these times. Gather everyone in a safe and comfortable place where the situation calls for. Dress appropriately and drink plenty of water.
6. Practice generator safety
Temporary power supply generators always come in handy during electrical blackouts. Make sure generators are placed outside or far away indoors. It’s also important not to DIY electrical systems or tries to connect your generators to your household wiring manually. It’s illegal and can cause serious accidents.
You must follow safety measures when planning to use power generators during electrical blackouts or get them installed by a licensed electrician.
7. Refrain from going outside
Refrain from going outside your homes when there’s an electrical blackout. Stay away from downed utility lines. It’s extremely important that if the power lines are down, no one must go near or touch them. Always assume that downed lines are live and dangerous.
8. Stay in touch
It’s important to stay in communication during electrical blackouts, especially in the middle of storms. Try to conserve your phone battery as much as possible. You may also use battery-operated devices or walkie-talkies to communicate with your family.
9. Be aware
Keep across the news and emergency updates through the radio or your mobile phones. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and announcements made by your local authorities.
When a blackout occurs, there are several people you can call for help. You can contact Ausgrid or your electrical provider to help restore the power in your community.
A Level 2 electrician might also be of your service to help restore power in your house, especially if it’s within your electrical system. They can also work on power poles or anything that caused the blackout.
Electrical blackouts are inevitable during storms. But you don’t have to worry when you know what to do! If you’re experiencing an electrical blackout, contact the Local Electrician Sydney. We can help people create an effective blackout plan and assist in dealing with current blackouts.