Prepare Your Home For Loadshedding
Although we have been experiencing some dark nights recently, according to Eskom load-shedding is currently suspended.
Regardless of this announcement, load-shedding is not gone for good, and so it’s wise to take precautions so that you don’t get caught in the dark. Aside from reducing your electricity consumption (especially between the peak 5pm to 9pm period) and unplugging your appliances when you’re not using them, we at PropertyFox have some useful tips on how to prepare for those occasional power outages.
Put the proposed load shedding times (when Eskom inevitably announces the new load-shedding schedule) on your fridge. This gives your family enough time to prepare. If you’re so inclined there is also an app for that.
Critical systems generally rely on electricity -ensure that they have some form of battery reliant back-up power. Electric doors and gates often have manual operation modes for this kind of eventuality but if your alarm system does not have back-up battery power, be cautious during a power outage.
Make sure you have a few torches, lanterns or candles on hand. You’re going to need them to safely navigate your way around the house when it’s dark. Check too that you have matches or a lighter. If you have torches then make sure you have batteries that are in good condition and enough of them.
Ensure that all electric devices or equipment are unplugged, or at least switched off at the wall to avoid surge damage. Surge protection units will also help minimise damage. Remember… surges are one of the biggest causes of damage to equipment during a power outage.
Go gas for cooking. A basic gas hob is very affordable. Alternatively, a gas skottle has different cooking surface fittings so that you can place pots on top of it or make a stir fry with the wok fitting. Optionally you could boil water shortly ahead of the scheduled outage and keep it in a flask so that you don’t miss out on your much-deserved cup of tea or coffee. There is also the good old South African fallback -the braai. Not that South Africans need an excuse to have a braai, but load shedding could be a valid one if you ever did. Plus, it’s a great way to feed the family while keeping them busy and entertained. So, make sure you always have charcoal and lighters.
Get a generator. Decide which appliances you need when the electricity goes out. To determine the size of the generator you need you’ll have to calculate the total wattage required. Make a list of the appliances you want to power, you can find labels with the wattage information on each one (sometimes they’re inside the door of the appliance or on the back).
Use these ideas to manage your life when you don’t have power. Share your tips and what works for you with friends and family, together we can make load shedding bearable. Also, be sure to stay in the loop and up to date with your area’s load shedding schedule to avoid being caught off-guard.