First Things to Do During a Power Outage in Brisbane

October 6, 2021

Power outages can happen for a variety of reasons in Brisbane, but storms and bushfires are the most common causes. If a power outage occurs in your home, the most important thing is staying calm and following the steps below.

Find Out Who is Affected by the Outage

One of the first things you should do is check to see whether the outage is widespread, or whether it’s just your home that has lost power.

Knowing who is affected by the power outage can help you prepare for the next steps. If you’re the only one who has lost power, the issue may be more complicated and may require the help of an electrician.

Call the power company to report the outage, whether it’s just your home or the entire neighbourhood.

Unplug Devices and Appliances

Once you’ve determined who is affected by the outage, the next step is to unplug appliances and devices. When your power is eventually restored, a surge may damage the appliance or device.

If you can’t unplug the appliance or device for some reason, you can cutoff power from the circuit breaker.

If you have sensitive devices, like computers or smartphones, make sure that they are on surge protectors. A surge protector can help prevent damage if you’re not able to unplug the device right away.

Keep Refrigerated and Freezer Doors Closed

To minimise food spoilage, make sure that you keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed.

As a general rule of thumb:

·     Food should stay safe for a few hours in a refrigerator without power.

·     A full freezer should keep food safe for up to 48hours (24 hours if the freezer is half full).

If food items have been exposed to temperatures that are 4°C or higher for more than a few hours, bacteria can start developing. At this point, it’s best to just throw out any food that has been exposed to these higher temperatures, especially for highly perishable foods like fish, cheese, poultry, meat, eggs and other dairy products.

If some foods have been defrosted from the freezer, cook them and eat them right away, or throw them out.

It's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food safety. When in doubt, toss it out.

Use Battery-Powered Lights

If the power outage occurs at night, use battery-powered lights(flashlights, lanterns, etc.) instead of candles, which are a fire hazard.

Be sure to have extra batteries on hand. LED lights will last longer and run more efficiently.

Put Safety First

If a storm caused the outage, carefully check your property for damage.Call the power company to report any downed power lines. Do not touch or even go near any downed lines.

Here are some other safety tips:

·     Never use any appliances, power outlets or circuit breakers that are water-damaged until they have been inspected by an electrician.

·     Keep out of flooded rooms or basements where electrical items may still be plugged in.

·     Once the power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on appliances or devices to avoid power surges.

Power outages can happen for several reasons, but the tips above will help you stay safe until power is restored.