Published: 2019-03-20

 

 

 

You can minimise your risk of damage to electric appliances during power outages by taking a few safety precautions

  • Get a few high-wattage solar powered lights for your garden, and a few LED lights for inside. Light is a deterrent to would-be burglars.
  • Keep your cellphone charged, or invest in a portable phone charger, so that you can still call for help if you need to. 
  • If you need to manually open and close your gates when you get home, try to have someone come and meet you at your entrance, or arrange for an escort from your security company.
  • Use padlocks, burglar bars and deadbolts to provide an extra level of home security that isn’t power-dependent.
  • Put the proposed power outage times somewhere handy so that your family will have enough time to prepare for the power outage.
  • Alarm systems, garage doors and electric gates generally rely on electricity so make sure that these items all have good back-up batteries.
  • Keep a torch or a solar battery-powered light that is charged beforehand in multiple, easily accessible locations around your home. Be sure to also have plenty of spare batteries.
  • Your fridge and freezer supplies should be okay without power overnight if you do not open and close it repeatedly. If you’re worried about certain food items, prepare an ice-box for these.
  • If possible, invest in a backup power supply for your house – be it a generator, battery system, solar panels or a combination of these – to keep essential lights, appliances, electric gates and security systems running.

 

Load shedding explained

  • Stage 1: Requires the least amount of load-shedding (up to 1,000 MW) and can be implemented three times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or three times over an eight-day period for 4 hours at a time.
  • Stage 2:  Will double the frequency of Stage 1, which means you will be scheduled for load-shedding six times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or six times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.
  • Stage 3: Will increase the frequency of Stage 2 by 50 percent, which means you will be scheduled for load-shedding nine times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or nine times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.
  • Stage 4: Will double the frequency of Stage 2, which means you will be scheduled for load-shedding 12 times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or 12 times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.

o what is Stage 4 load-shedding and how does it affect you?

  • Stage 4 calls for 4,000 MW to be rotationally cut off nationally at a given period.
  • This means that residents need to be prepared for unscheduled power cuts at any given time without any warning for close to four hours at a time.
  • Your area will be scheduled for load-shedding 12 times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or 12 times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.

Stage 4 load-shedding is the last resort for Eskom to prevent a national blackout.

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