Power outage safety
- Read our Guide to power outages brochure:
- Read our advice on using a generator safely:
Storms are the most common cause of power outages as strong winds often cause trees to fall across powerlines, interrupting supply. Power outages can be also be caused by other weather events, such as lightening, floods, heatwaves and bushfires. Animals, car accidents or digging near underground powerlines can also cause interruptions.
Always be prepared for power outages with a torch, charged mobile phone and battery-operated radio. If you use electricity to run a water pump, make sure you have an alternative source for fresh water or a non-electric pump available.
In the event of a power failure turn off and unplug all electrical appliances at the powerpoint. This will help to prevent equipment damage in the event of a power surge.
Restoring power is usually the responsibility of your local electricity supply company, who own and maintain the poles and wires bringing power to your home.
Contact your electricity supply company
Let them know your power is out, or check their website/app for outage details.
If there are fallen powerlines stay more than 8 – 10 metres away. Standing near fallen powerlines can be fatal.
Always treat fallen powerlines as live even when they are broken.
Preparing for power outages
Power outages can occur at any time. To prepare, you should have an energy plan and kit, which include the following:
- Important contacts – keep a list of your important numbers somewhere easy to find.
- Access to a charged mobile phone.
- Alternative lighting – torches, LED lanterns etc.
- Alternative cooking facilities and heating – some gas appliances may need electricity to operate.
- Never bring outdoor gas appliance such as BBQs or patio heaters indoors.
- A battery-powered radio – get updates on weather conditions and power outages in your area.
- Fresh water – if you use electricity to run a water pump, make sure you have an alternative water source.
Do you have special needs?
If you require an uninterrupted power supply, report your needs to your electricity retailer and make sure they have up-to-date contact details for you.
During a power outage
In the event of a power failure
- Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances at the powerpoints – to help prevent equipment damage in the event of a power surge.
- Turn off light switches – they may turn on when you are not there.
- Check your neighbour’s to see if they have also lost power. If not, go to your meter box and check that your safety switch has not tripped.
- Check on and offer support to your neighbours and relatives, particularly those with special needs and the elderly.
- If using a generator for power, read our advice on using a generator safely:
- Use a generator inside or try to modify extension leads to connect power to household wiring – read our advice on using a generator safely:
- Do you own electrical work – DIY electrical work is illegal and very dangerous.
Be safe with food
- Try to keep food cold – move food from the fridge to the freezer and only open the fridge / freezer when absolutely necessary
- Eat hot food within four hours or throw it away.
Date: 03/02/2023 10:12
The currency and accuracy of this document cannot be guaranteed once printed or saved to a storage device. If in doubt, please check the ESV website for the current version.
Reviewed 29 January 2023