How to prepare your home for power outages
The Southern African region has just recently gone through a fairly dismal rain season. As a region that primarily depends on hydropower for electricity general, this means power outages will be a common occurrence. With this in mind, it is a good idea to take precautions so you don’t find yourself in the dark and unprepared. You can make losing power a less traumatic and inconveniencing experience by being well prepared. We have compiled some tips on how to prepare your home for power outages.
Know the power outage schedule
In the first place, you must know the proposed load shedding/ power outage schedule. Ensure everyone in your home is aware of the times when power will be unavailable. This will give you all sufficient time to prepare for an outage. Depending on your area of residence, there might be sophisticated means to access power outage schedules. If the power outage occurs outside of the scheduled time then you must report it to the relevant authority in your area. In most cases, people neglect to report unscheduled outages assuming that someone else has made the report. As such what could have been rectified in a short period of time often ends up consuming a significant amount of time to sort out.
Most critical systems in and around the home are heavily dependent on electricity for operation. Security mechanisms including alarm systems, electric fences, as well as electric gates are all critical systems. Right from the onset, it is important to install systems that have a fallback system of some sort. For example, battery reliant back-up power. Another important feature to have on all your critical systems is manual operation and functionality. Frequent and regular maintenance of your back-up systems is very important to ensure you do not get a rude surprise.
Illuminate the dark
Have a few torches, candles and lanterns on hand to help you illuminate your home. Otherwise, you might find yourself stumbling in dark. It is also important to ensure that torch batteries are in perfect working condition. Keep a box of matches or a firelighter handy to help you navigate your way around the house. Be mindful of the potential dangers of starting a fire that come with the use of matches, lanterns, and candles. As such safely and carefully use these items, and be especially cautious if there are children in the house.
One of the dangers of power outages is the potential danger to electrical equipment as power goes or comes back on. With this in mind, it is recommended to get a surge protection unit to protect your electrical devices. In the event that you do not have a surge protection unit installed then ensure you unplug all equipment. Alternatively, you can switch off all electrical devices at the wall. This will help you eliminate and minimise electrical damage.
Gas cookers are relatively cheap and affordable to purchase. One of the biggest challenges most families face during powder outages is food preparation. This is especially problematic when you experience an outage at night. As such acquiring a gas cooker is an excellent way to manage your cooking needs even when there is no power. In addition, had is relatively inexpensive to refill, thereby making gas cookers a viable and sustainable option.
Using a petrol or diesel-fueled generator is an excellent to power your lights as well as some appliances during power outages. Ensure that you get an expert out to your property to advise on the size and wattage of the generator to buy. In addition, it is important that the installation is carried out by an expert to ensure everything is done right. Keep in mind that a generator like all mechanical instruments requires regular service and maintenance. Another option would be to install solar to power your house. That way you will be guaranteed to have power supply regardless of the circumstances
In conclusion, ensure that you have implemented enough precautions to protect your home during an outage. Equipped with the right information and appropriate action you can mitigate the impact of load shedding.