What simple steps can you take to ensure you’re electrically prepared?
Some areas to consider might include:
- Emergency kit - Prepare a ‘grab bag’ containing emergency contact details. Include 105 the free number to call to report a power cut, and useful items such as a spare phone/battery backup, wind up/battery operated torches and/or lamps.
- Uninterruptible power supply devices (UPS) - Consider purchasing a UPS device, which will provide a few minutes of emergency back-up if you have a power cut. These devices can protect your computers and wireless networks, as well as larger devices such as servers and data centres.
- Generators - Consider purchasing or renting a back-up generator. If you decide to do this, make sure the generator is connected properly by a qualified electrician and regularly tested.
- Computers and tablets - Save your work and back up to an external drive regularly and enable auto-save on your software if it’s available. If your Wi-Fi is without power, you may be able to use the hotspot on your smart phone or purchase an internet dongle from your network provider to continue working.
- Telephone systems - Many telephones use “line current” and will operate during a power cut. However, if your telephone has a mains plug, check to see if it has back-up batteries to ensure it works without power. For businesses, commercial telephone switchboards vary; some will shut down during a power cut, others will automatically divert calls to one or two lines. Check with your telephone system supplier.
- History of flooding - Notify your electricity distribution network operator if you live or work in an area prone to flooding and your meter is below potential flood levels. Make sure appliances are placed in elevated locations if possible.
- Security shutters - These might not work during a power cut if they’re mains operated. Check to see if your shutters are fitted with a manual over-ride system or come with a battery back-up. Ask your installer for more details.
- Lifts - Lifts with electrically operated motors will stop during a power cut. There should be someone on site trained to manually operate this type of lift if the electricity goes off unexpectedly.