Circuit Board during Power Outage

Who to Call in a Power Outage

Have you ever been in the middle of a captivating movie, or maybe you were just about to submit a crucial online report, and boom! The power goes out! You're plunged into darkness, and everything goes silent. It's quite the nightmare, right?

Now, the question that comes to mind is, ‘Who do I call during an outage?’ Well, folks, that’s precisely what we’re going to explore today. Let’s dive right in and lighten up this outage mystery.

What are Power Outages?

Simply put, a power outage is an interruption in your power supply.

Causes of Power Outages

Power outages can occur for various reasons, including extreme weather, equipment failure, or unexpected accidents like a car hitting a power pole. Your provider may also be conducting maintenance on the power lines and required to isolate the electricity for a short period of time resulting in a short outage.

When to Call for Assistance

Non-Emergency Situations

First, if you have lost power unexpectedly check if the outage is localised to your home or a neighbourhood-wide outage.

Check Your Circuit Breakers

Check your circuit breakers or fuse box. If a circuit has tripped or a fuse has blown, that could be the reason for your outage. Resetting the circuit or replacing the fuse might solve the power supply issue.

Figuring out if a circuit has tripped is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. Locate your switchboard: This is typically a grey or white box located on the wall in your garage, laundry, or outside your home.
  2. Identify the circuit breakers: You’ll see a series of switches inside the switchboard. These are the circuit breakers, each controlling the power to a different area or appliance in your home.
  3. Check the position of the switches: A switch in the ‘ON’ position indicates a working circuit, while ‘OFF’ indicates that the circuit is not supplying power. If a circuit has tripped, the switch may be in the middle position, or sometimes it’s just slightly away from the ‘ON’ position.
  4. Resetting a tripped circuit: To reset a tripped circuit, you must first switch it to the ‘OFF’ position and then back to the ‘ON’ position. This will restore power if the outage was indeed a tripped breaker.

Remember, always take care when dealing with electrical systems even during power outages. If a circuit continues to trip after being reset, or if you’re uncomfortable dealing with your electrical system, it’s best to call a licensed electrician.

Frequent tripping can indicate a more severe issue, such as a short circuit or a faulty appliance, and it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Look Around Your Neighbourhood

Next, have a look outside. Are your neighbours’ houses dark as well? Are the streetlights on? If the current outage seems to affect other homes or buildings in your area or vicinity, it’s likely a larger area power outage, not just your property. You can also check if there are fallen powerlines nearby.

Use Your Phone

You could also try contacting a neighbour to confirm if there is an outage. If you’re part of a local community group (on social media, for instance), this could be a quick way to gather information on power outages.

Contact Your Electricity Supplier

Finally, if unsure, call your electricity supplier or check their website for outages. They can confirm if it’s a widespread outage or something isolated to your property. Your electrical provider may also have an interactive map on their website where you can check the areas where the power supply is affected.

Emergency Situations

In case of dangerous situations such as fallen powerlines, call emergency services immediately.

Utility vs Emergency Services

Remember, your utility company and licenced electrician handle power issues including a power outage, while emergency services deal with immediate threats to safety due to fallen powerlines.

Who to Call During a Power Outage

Your Electricity Supplier

If it’s a simple outage, your first point of contact should be your electricity supplier. They can provide information on current outages and estimated restoration time. You can also check their website as they usually show planned outages.

Emergency Services

For situations that pose an immediate danger, like fallen powerlines, call the emergency services. If there is a fallen or damaged powerline you can also report the issue to your states’ power network.

Local Government Services

For support during extended power outages, especially during severe weather, local government services can provide assistance.

Electrician Near Me Van

Licenced Electrician

There’s a particular set of circumstances during an outage where the best person to call isn’t your power company or emergency services – it’s a licensed electrician.

When Do You Need to Call an Electrician?

Now, you may wonder, “Why should I call an electrician?” There are certain instances where your electricity supplier might not be able to assist you. For example, if the outage is isolated to your home, it could be an issue with your internal wiring or electrical system. This is where a licensed electrician comes in handy.

What Can an Electrician Do?

A licensed electrician has the expertise and knowledge to diagnose and fix issues with your home’s electrical system that are beyond the responsibilities of your electricity supplier. They can safely inspect your home’s wiring, identify any faulty circuits, outlets, or appliances, and perform necessary repairs or replacements.

However when it comes to fallen powerlines electricians can only assist in some circumstances.

Choosing the Right Electrician

When you’re stuck in the dark, you want to get the best help possible. Make sure you choose a licensed, insured electrician with a good reputation. Finding one who offers emergency services, is also helpful as power outages can occur at any hour.

Steps to Take During an Outage

Stay Calm

It’s essential to stay calm during an outage. Anxiety can lead to poor decision-making.

Check Your Circuit Breakers

Before you call anyone, make sure the problem isn’t localised to your home by checking your circuit breakers. If the issue is with your circuit breaker contact a licensed electrician who can assist you with replacing or repairing any damage to your powerboard.

Contact Your Electricity Supplier

If the issue persists, contact your electricity supplier for information on the outage and estimated times for your power supply to be back on.

Protecting Your Home

Using Surge Protectors

To protect your electronics from potential surges when power is restored after power outages, use surge protectors.

A surge protector, often referred to as a surge diverter or surge suppressor, is a device designed to protect electrical appliances from voltage spikes. These spikes typically occur during power outages, lightning strikes, or when heavy-duty appliances like air conditioners are switched on or off.

Here’s how it works in simple terms:

Electricity flows like water. Imagine your electrical appliances are like your garden plants. The correct amount of water keeps them healthy, but if there’s a sudden downpour (a voltage spike), it can drown your plants (damage your electrical devices).

A surge protector acts like a drainage system. During that metaphorical downpour, it diverts the excess water (electricity) safely away, protecting your plants (devices).

In Australia, surge protectors are particularly crucial due to the country’s occasional bouts of extreme weather, including thunderstorms which could lead to lightning strikes causing power surges.

They’re used for computers, televisions, and other sensitive electronics that could be damaged by unexpected increases in voltage. By using a surge protector, you’re extending the life of your appliances and protecting your investment from an outage.

Unplugging Appliances

It’s advisable to unplug your appliances during an outage to avoid any potential electrical damage.

Preparation for Future Power Outages

Create a Preparedness Plan

Having a plan in place can help you navigate through power outages more efficiently.

Maintain an Emergency Kit

This kit should include flashlights, batteries, a battery-powered radio, a portable battery and non-perishable food items.

Understand Your Energy Usage

Knowing how much energy your home uses can help you make decisions about alternative power solutions.

Circuit Breakers during power outage

Alternative Power Solutions

Portable Generators

A portable generator can provide temporary power during an outage.

Solar Power Systems

Investing in solar power can offer you a renewable, independent power source.

Battery Backup Systems

These systems store power and provide it to customers during outages.

Outage Safety Tips

Stay Informed

Keep informed of the latest updates from your electricity supplier and local news sources including current outages.

Using Alternative Light Sources

Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns for lighting during an outage.

Avoiding Overloading Circuits

When power is restored, turn your appliances on one at a time to avoid overloading your circuits.

Switching the Lights Back On: Concluding Thoughts

Knowing who to call during a power outage, what steps to take, and how to prepare for future outages can make a significant difference in your experience. Keep an eye out on current outages, contact a licenced electrician, electrical provider or emergency services if required. Stay prepared, stay safe, and remember – you’re never alone in the dark.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.