Today, load shedding is an everyday reality, although we’re never sure which day, or how many times a day it will happen.
With that comes surges in electricity as the grid rebalances itself after temporary dormancy.
Or, as IOL puts it, “when the load shedding stages increases, so does the frequency of the rotational power cuts, which has a replica impact in increased risk of damage to sensitive electronic items due to power surges, fires and crime as a result of security systems not operating properly.”
Anyone who’s lost a much-loved home cinema when their projector blew up, or a much-needed home office when their laptop fried, knows the feeling.
What’s more, with the power out, your home alarm or your electronic gate may not work, and you may be plunged into darkness.
We want to help you take the power back despite Eskom’s schedule.
Here are some tips to protect your home and your appliances in load shedding times.
The trick is to be prepared.
1. Get a UPS. An Uninterrupted Power Supply is a device that charges up when there’s power and provides that power to devices when there’s not. Depending on its capacity, you could run basic electronics off it, or motorised appliances like an orange squeezer.
2. Make sure your security system (alarms, gate, etc) has a backup battery that works during load shedding.
3. Unplug your cables during load shedding. Telephone cables, devices, etc. They can all be damaged by a sudden boost in power when the grid goes live again.
4. Invest in a small gas stove for emergency, power-out cooking. It’s like camping, inside!
5. Keep your devices on charge while you use them (when there’s electricity).
6. Ensure there’s clean drinking water set aside. Your water filtration system might require power, or the taps may go dry, depending on how you get your household water. A flask is a great eco-friendly alternative to the single-use plastic bottle.
7. Keep a light source at hand. Solar-charged LED fairy lights make amazing ambient lighting, but a battery-powered torch is better for reading, shaving and cooking by.
8. The plumbing may not work when the power’s out – keep enough water set aside to flush the loo (a few times, especially if your home houses multiple people).
9. Invest in a surge protection device. This can help reduce the impact of unbalanced volumes of energy running through your home grid. Citiq Prepaid suggests you “speak to a certified electrician who installed your prepaid [electricity] meters about whether you need extra surge protection.”
10. Back up, back up, back up. Your data is sensitive, even when the lights are out. Keep essential data on more than one backup device (like an external hard drive) and make sure it is safely unplugged and stowed away from any other devices (like a grid-connected laptop).
11. Update your insurance. Check in with your provider and find out if your items are covered for power surges, load shedding accidents in the dark, etc. Get a quote for bundled car and household insurance with us today*! Drop us a message or call-back request here. Hopefully your pets are already insured with us. If not, now might be a good time to fetch a quote for your furballs with the most trusted insured in South Africa**!
* T&Cs apply and are obtainable by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
** As rated on Hellopeter.com at time of publishing
Also, here’s a blog to help you look on the bright side of electricity interruptions.