In today’s fast-paced modern society, we rely on electricity for just about everything, from lighting our homes to charging our smartphones. As such, it is no surprise how startling a sudden power outage can be. Power cuts are, at best, irritating and, at worst, dangerous. Scrambling around in the dark trying to locate a torch isn’t the safest activity, and during periods of extreme weather, some areas are left without power for hours at a time. Preparing for power cuts is the best way to keep you and your family safe, so read on to find out more.
There are several primary causes of power outages, including;
Natural causes - Severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms, blizzards, and harsh gales have the potential to damage power lines and various infrastructure components, leading to power outages.
Human error - Outages can be caused by human error, such as when an engineer accidentally cuts a power line.
Faulty wiring - Faulty wiring is a common cause of power failure. This may include bad connections, loose wires, or damaged insulation.
Construction - During construction work, there is a possibility of power lines being cut, damaged or interfered with, leading to power outages.
Animals - A surprisingly common cause of power failure is due to birds nesting on or colliding with power lines or insulators.
Overload - During times of high activity, the demand for electricity may exceed the capacity of the power grid, resulting in local power outages.
While it may be unreasonable and unrealistic to expect every household to be in a constant state of readiness for the next power cut, it is always worth knowing when an outage may be imminent. For example, if your area is forecast to have harsh weather conditions such as gale-force winds or lightning storms, the possibility of a power cut rises significantly. As such, staying prepared until the severe weather has subsided is always advisable.
A sudden power cut after dark can be alarming and disorientating. Granted, most of us have constant access to our smartphones, which typically feature relatively powerful torches. However, keeping a good-quality torch (along with extra batteries) handy is preferable. Alternatively, you could purchase a dyno torch, dynamo torch, or squeeze flashlight that generates energy via a flywheel, negating the need for batteries. That said, a high-power camping lantern is ideal for drawn-out power outages.
Most of us rely heavily on our smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices as a means of obtaining information and staying connected. Having your devices run out of battery during a power outage can leave you feeling panicked and isolated, particularly if you want to contact friends or relatives to arrange transport or temporary accommodation. Investing in a good-quality power bank to charge your devices is the best way to ensure your safety and peace of mind during power cuts.
Your home’s electrical safety is crucial to your well-being. Additionally, a well-maintained electrical system may reduce the likelihood of power outages. There are numerous reasons your home’s electrical system may be shorting on a regular basis, such as faulty or damaged wiring due to vermin or pests. You may also experience electrical faults due to external reasons, such as malfunctioning power distribution systems. If you have any concerns, contact a reputable electrician. Here are some more electrical safety tips for your home.
Power outages during winter can be particularly dangerous, particularly for vulnerable individuals. During these periods, it is vital to safeguard your health and well-being by wrapping up warm and temporarily relocating if needed; however, venturing outdoors is ardently discouraged if your power outage is due to severe weather conditions. It may be worth investing in a portable camping heater or space heater to keep you and your family warm while the power is out.
One of the most troublesome aspects of a power outage is the potential for food waste. Keep in mind that good-quality refrigerators will keep your food safe for up to four hours, provided the doors are kept closed. If you’re worried about excessive waste, it may be worth transferring your perishable items to a cool box with ice packs to keep them at a safe temperature until the power is restored.