The recent power outages in Western Australia have been inconvenient for thousands of residents (and businesses) across the state. Our test and tag Perth team have created a blog post to help you reduce the risk of a blackout in your home or office. They have shared tips on how to prevent power outages. Firstly, we need to know what causes power outages? Hot weather can increase the chances of a power outage – unfortunately, during the Australian summer, we have no control over this. What you can do is:
- Make sure you are aware of what to do in the event of an electricity blackout.
- Know the preventative measures you can take before an outage.
Photo via Western Power/WA Today.
Tips for Avoiding a Blackout
A power outage could be contained to your building or spread across the state. Our test and tag team has included a few handy tips for preventing large and small scale power failures. Take a look at the list and protect your building from a blackout.
Trim your trees
One of the most common preventable power outage causes is overgrown trees that interfere with power lines. You can minimise the risk of a blackout by monitoring the height of the trees around the perimeter of your building. If the tree is approaching the power lines you should contact your local energy provider or the local council. You should never try to trim the trees at your home or office on your own as it is highly dangerous and an appropriate task for trained professionals. If you have any questions or concerns about the trees near your building, you can contact Energy Safe Victoria for further advice.
Reduce Energy Consumption
The reason a lot of residential blackouts occur during summer is the increased energy usage. The extra power used to keep homes cool often overwhelms the system in your area and causes the power to fail. You can reduce your energy consumption in your home or workplace by doing the following:
- Switch off any tools/equipment/appliances that aren’t in use. Turn them off at the wall or unplug them to make sure no extra energy is spent on idle appliances. If you suspect that any of your appliances could be tripping your RCD as opposed to a neighbourhood blackout, ask one of our test and tag Perth team members to take a look at your electrical equipment.
- Turn off lights that aren’t in use/necessary. Daylight savings will keep your building bright until twilight.
- Whilst you are using an air conditioner, keep the doors shut to any rooms that aren’t being used. You can turn your air conditioner off at night (if it cools down enough to go without it) and open your windows instead.
- Make sure you have blinds and curtains that can keep out the harsh sun and keep in the cool air.
Your local energy provider will take further steps to ensure an unnecessary power outage will not occur. These steps may include regular inspection and maintenance of power lines, wildlife prevention equipment (that reduces encounters with birds and other animals), thermographic surveys, and proactive tree trimming.
If your RCD is tripping, check out common causes of frequent RCD Tripping.
What to do During a Power Outage?
If a blackout does occur in your area, there are a few things you can do to avoid risks and damage to your property. Make sure you stay away from the cause of the blackout; don’t inspect any broken power lines or fallen trees. Broken power lines can be live even if they are on the ground so be careful not to touch them
Call your local energy provider when you can so that you can be aware of the cause of the blackout and avoid any potential risk. Call the emergency services if you believe you have been exposed to immediate risk. If you think the outage is restricted to your building you can try and locate the source of the problem by removing any faulty bulbs or appliances. You can check this quite easily by looking at your RCD (safety switch) and seeing if it has been switched into the off position. If your RCD has been tripped, ask one of our technicians to bring their mobile test and tag equipment to your building and locate the source of the problem.
Are you worried about faulty appliances in your building? Contact Jim’s Test & Tag today for specialised services that will help you prevent electrical faults in your building.