None of us appreciate a blackout, but unfortunately they do happen from time to time. As we all know, our power supply isn’t infallible, particularly in times when the grid is under pressure or during storms when the lines go down.
So have you ever thought about what you would do if the power cuts out in your home? Here are six tips that will help keep everyone safe and comfortable at home while you wait for the problem to be fixed.
1. Access the extent of the problem
Your first step is to find out whether the power cut applies just to your home, your neighbours or it’s more widespread. Check to see what is and isn’t working in your home and look outside for damage that might have caused the outage.
You can check electrical outages online using your smartphone (because you can’t use the internet if the power is out!) by calling 13 13 88 which will provide information on any known outages in your area and give you an estimate of the time until the problem is fixed. If your loss of power has not been registered, you can report it on the same number.
2. Keep everyone warm
During winter you will need to keep everyone warm, so if the power is going to be off for an extended period, make sure that everyone rugs up with layers of warm clothing. Don’t forget to close doors and windows, curtains and blinds to keep the heat inside and if you are lucky enough to have a wood heater, then you should stay nice and warm while you wait for the power to be restored.
3. Prepare food safely
Now is the time to fire up the BBQ for your meals, as well as opting for foods that don’t need cooking, for example tinned food, cereals, bread, vegetables, fruit and cheese. It shouldn’t be too long before your power is restored, so a BBQ or a cold meal will keep you going for a while!
4. Let there be light
Always have a few torches ready for any power cuts and avoid using candles because they can easily set your home on fire if you aren’t careful. If you have to use candles, then keep them away from young children, pets and draughts and don’t leave them unattended.
5. Turn off your appliances
It’s best to turn off any electrical appliances at the wall, but leave one light still switched on, so you know when the power is restored. Your fridge and freezer might become a problem if the outage goes on for too long, so keep the doors closed to help keep the cold air inside and check the food for spoilage when the power is restored.
6. Keep yourself busy
Without power for the TV, internet and games, many of us will become bored very quickly, especially the kids. So it’s best to keep everyone busy by going for a walk or a bike ride. You can also take a nap, play a game of cards, read a book, write letters or make lists of things to do and if the power is on in another suburb, you can go for a drive to a restaurant, watch a movie or go shopping.