Power outage survival tips

South Africa’s power utility company Eskom announced on Monday that customers should prepare themselves for possible loadshedding due to human resource instability and acts of intimidation at many of its power stations.While customers can be assured of being provided with loadshedding schedules, there are some power outage survival tips worth implementing when this eventuality happens. Here are some power outage tips.

1. Don’t open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. Your fridge and freezer supplies should be okay without power over night if you do not open and close the doors repeatedly.

2. Alarm systems, garage doors and electric gates generally rely on electricity so make sure that these items all have good back-up batteries.

3. Consider buying solar power lights. If these are expensive, you can also buy battery powered lights, torches and lanterns.

4. You can install a non-electric standby stove or heater. Choose heating units that are not dependent on an electric motor, electric fan, or some other electric device to function.

5. Before considering the use of an emergency generator during a power outage, check with appliance and lighting fixture dealers or manufacturers regarding power requirements and proper operating procedures.

6. Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors. They give off carbon monoxide. Because you can’t smell or see it, carbon monoxide can cause health problems and can be life-threatening.

7. Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored. Also, power can be restored more easily when there is not a heavy load on the electrical system.

8. Invest in power surge protection. There are various devices available to protect your electrical equipment from surges – when the supply voltage fluctuates. The most cost effective ones look like multi-plugs and let you plug multiple components into one power outlet. Look into this in particular if you live in an area where the quality of supply is unpredictable.

The tips provided above will assist you to experience a stress free load-shedding period.

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