The first thing you should do is resist panicking. Power cuts don’t usually last very long – and, anyway, if your home’s lights suddenly go out, you need to establish that it actually is a power cut you are experiencing. The real problem could be something that takes just seconds to resolve.
Even if a full-scale power outage turns out to be the culprit, you could be pleasantly surprised by how easily you can get by in the wait for your electricity supply to be restored. Often, it’s just a case of ‘easy once you know how’ – as the following tips attest.
How can you tell if the issue is genuinely a power cut?
If your home’s lights or sockets have evidently stopped working, your first instinct could be to attribute all of this to a power cut. However, there are some simple steps you can take to check for sure. UK households can phone 105 to learn about any new power cuts in the area, The Sun reports.
This would be a good reason for you to make sure in advance that you have plugged in a landline corded phone, since you would be able to use this without needing electricity, as MoneyExpert explains. If there still seems to be power in certain areas of your home, there could be an issue with its trip switches. If you have an electricity prepayment meter, make sure it hasn’t run out of credit.
How to carefully prepare for a power cut
If you are reading this in an attempt to rectify a power cut, you are probably reading on a battery-powered device like a laptop, mobile or tablet. It’s a good idea to keep devices like these as close to fully charged as possible before a power cut strikes.
You could also keep an external battery pack at close hand – or, perhaps better still, buy a new phone capable of outperforming your current one in the battery-life stakes. OnBuy is one example of an online marketplace offering long-lasting mobile phones from numerous sellers.
Other battery-powered items that could serve you well during a power cut include a torch – which, unlike candles, wouldn’t risk setting your house ablaze – and a battery-powered radio, enabling you to stay in the loop about other potential dangers posed to your livelihood.
How can you ‘get by’ while you wait for power to return?
If you have learnt – perhaps online or over the phone – that electricity should be channelled back into your home by a specified time, you will probably just be left with the question of how to contend with that power’s absence in the meantime.
Provided you can safely do so, turn electronic appliances and gadgets off at the plug. Otherwise, when power resumes, an electrical surge could overload and damage these electronics.
Avoid opening the doors of your fridge and freezer, and place blankets over these units to help keep the food inside cooler for longer. If any of this food defrosts, bin it rather than refreeze it.