There are few things as frustrating and disorienting as an unexpected power cut - which always seems to happen right before the climax in a TV show! But they are an inevitable part of modern life, especially in highly populated areas such as Sydney during summer. That which cannot be cured must be endured - so what are the best ways to deal with sudden power failures?
• Make it a practice to keep all your devices fully charged, and consider investing in a portable battery charger that you keep charged up and ready to go. This means that you will not be left incommunicado if a blackout strikes.
• Ensure that you have torches, or candles and matches, in easy reach in every room of your home. This is particularly important if you have young children or animals who are frightened of the dark and may require some light to be available immediately after a power failure - especially if it occurs during a storm and tensions are already running high.
• Once you have sufficient light to see the hand in front of your face, turn off all light switches bar one, and all electrical appliances which were plugged in immediately before the blackout. This is to avoid the circuits becoming overloaded when power is restored, and a fuse blowing. The solitary light is left on so that you know when power has been restored and are not sitting in the dark for longer than is necessary! Glenco ia also able to install emergency lighting for your home, so it won't fail if the power cuts.
• Check to see whether only you have lost power, or if your neighbours are struggling with the same issue. Apart from the tried and true method of sticking your head out the window to see if the rest of your street has gone dark, check your trip switches or fuses. If you are not confident with checking this out, ask your friendly local electrician to explain the ins and outs of the fuse box to you at the next opportunity. If the problem is just with your home’s electrical system, it’s a good idea to have the number of a 24 hour electrician in Sydney (or anywhere else across the country) on hand. An emergency electrical contractor will be available to come out and assist when required.
• If there is anything in particular that you or a family member is reliant upon - such as medication - ensure that it is always in an area where it can be readily located during a blackout.
• If members of your family are elderly, very young or pregnant, and you are concerned about summer blackouts, be prepared to use other cooling methods. Cool flannels and handheld fans can help stave off the heat.
• If you expect that the outage may last for a while - for example, because there are downed power lines or some other factor beyond your control which has caused the power outage - take steps to preserve perishable items by putting them into an esky or otherwise ensuring they do not simply spoil in your fridge.
You cannot avoid all unpleasantries in life, power failures included. But you can do your best to be prepared for them with these tips.