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When a power outage strikes at your home, it can be a worrying time, especially if the loss of power is prolonged – or is confined to just your property. You may have come across this article on your phone during a current outage, and be looking for immediate advice, or you may be preparing for the possibility of a future power cut. Either way, this guide will help you stay safe and take practical steps to get through the outage and find a solution to the problem.

What is a power outage?

A power outage is a partial or complete failure of the electrical system. You could find that one or more rooms in your property suddenly lose power, or it could be the entire building. Power outages can often be due to a fault on the electrical grid, in which case your neighbours will also be affected. Bad weather can cause problems with the power lines, as can maintenance in the local area.

Who should I call if there is a power outage?

Take a look outside or knock on your neighbour’s door and see if properties other than yours are affected. In this case, the problem lies with the power grid. The power might come back on within a few minutes, but it could be longer. You can call SA Power Networks on 13 13 66 for status updates and advice.

If the issue is only affecting your property, then you should first make a call to your electricity supplier and find out whether there is a fault at their end. If the supply is good, then you need an emergency electrician to figure out the problem and get you powered back up. You can call Same Day Trades on 1300 632 094 to request an urgent visit from an engineer.

Partial outages

If power has been lost only in part of your property, then something could have tripped the fuse and knocked out a circuit. Check the fuse board and see if one of the switches has flipped to the off position. Often, a single appliance or fitting will be the culprit here. Turn all outlets and appliances off in the affected room(s), and try pushing the switch to get the power back on. This might bring the power back on, though you still need an electrician to urgently isolate the cause of the blowout and make any necessary repairs.

Staying safe in a power cut

If the power has gone completely, you need to keep yourself and your family safe until help arrives and the power comes back on. Planning ahead can be a big help here. Make sure you know where essential supplies are, such as a torch and some warm blankets. Keep mobile phones charged at all times: in the event of a power outage, a smartphone with mobile internet will help you get the help you need. Many families also keep stores of bottled water on hand. A lengthy power outage (longer than 12 hours) can affect water treatment plants and mean that the tap water is not safe for drinking.

If you have access to other forms of power and heating, such as generators and camping stoves, it can be tempting to bring these indoors. However, you shouldn’t take the risk. Gas and petrol-powered appliances like these can release toxic fumes when used in confined spaces, and they also pose a fire risk. Equally, avoid using candles for light where possible to prevent fires.

What can cause a power outage?

There are so many reasons for a sudden power cut, with some causes more obvious than others. One important thing to check is whether your electricity bill is up to date. If a payment has been missed, it could be that your supplier has cut you off – although you should have received plenty of advance warning in this case!

One of the most common causes of power outages is bad weather. From summer storms to the cold of winter, stress on the electrical grid can lead to disruption of power delivery. If power lines have been brought down on your property or if a storm has led to a power outage, call in an emergency electrician.

The next likely culprit on the list is a broken appliance or faulty wiring system. Electrical circuits are designed to cut out when overloaded or when a fault occurs: a safety measure that can prevent fires and shocks. An electrical engineer can run diagnostics and determine what has caused the outage, and get it resolved for you.

Whatever the cause of the electrical failure, you need your power outage resolved as quickly as possible, so grab your phone and give our engineers a call right away. We will soon have you powered back up again!