Unpredictable weather! What to do in a power cut…
They say that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone, and this is certainly true of electricity. We take it for granted these days and it’s only when you’ve experienced a power cut, that you begin to understand how frustrating it can be.
Autumn and winter bring with them extreme and unpredictable weather, increasing the chance of a power cut. And sometimes, it may not even be due to the weather – an outage can occur due to a network fault.
So, if you ever find yourself without power, here’s our handy six-step guide on what you should do.
1. See if your neighbours’ lights are on
Look out the window – are your neighbours’ lights also off? If so, then it’s likely to be a problem with the network. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can call 105 free of charge to report an outage and get up-to-date information on power cuts in your area.
2. Just your house? Check fuses and trip switch
If yours is the only house without power, it’s probably a problem with the fuses or trip switch in your home. If you do encounter an issue, you should get a qualified electrician to repair it.
If the trip switch is on...
Turn the switch off and on again – if that doesn’t solve the problem, press the ‘test’ button. The switch will trip if electricity is entering your home and there’s a fault with the wiring or an appliance. If it doesn’t trip, your home doesn’t have electricity.
If the trip switch is off...
Try turning the trip switch on again – if it remains on but there’s no power, check that the main fuse box switch is on. Alternatively, if it trips straight away, turn the fuse box off and trip switch on – if it doesn’t stay on, there’s an issue with the fuse box or trip switch itself. An appliance could be causing the switch to trip, so turn them all off and put them back on one by one.
3. Turn off your appliances
If it’s not an issue with your trip switch and is in fact a power cut affecting your area, one of the first things you should do is turn off appliances like fryers, irons and hair straighteners, just in case you forget they’re on when power is restored. Unplug sensitive appliances like computers and TVs, but leave one light on so you know when the power is back.
4. Locate your torch
Leaving lit candles unattended can be dangerous, so it’s better to use a torch instead. The GP beam Every Day Carry P15 utilises Cree LED with a run time of 3 hours at 100% and 9 hours at 10% – plenty of time for the power to be restored. But just in case, make sure you have a set of rechargeable AA batteries charged and ready to go.
6. Avoid opening your fridge freezer
If there’s a power cut, try to avoid opening your fridge freezer as much as possible – consider storing items you know you’ll need (like milk) in a cool box packed with ice. Your fridge freezer should keep cool for around 4-6 hours; thawed or partially thawed food may still safely be refrozen if it has ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below. Just be sure to check food when the power is back on and if in doubt, throw it out!
7. Wait for updates
Now all that’s left to do is sit tight, wrap up warm and wait for updates. Of course, it’s always best to prepare for the unexpected and with GP Batteries, you’ll be storm-ready at all times thanks to our range of PowerBanks and battery-powered accessories.
Keep the GP U421 PowerBank Charger boosted and you’ll have instant battery back-up in the event of a power cut. You’ll be able to charge your phone and tablets, and even power your laptop so you can all watch a film to pass the time!
Meanwhile, the Safeguard RF1.1 Cordless Security Light will keep the outside of your home well-lit in the event of a power cut. The motion-activated light doesn’t rely on mains as it’s battery powered, and will prevent trips or falls if you need to go into your shed or garage, for instance.
A power cut needn’t be stressful – follow these simple steps and the problem will be resolved faster than you can say ‘electricity’!