Load Shedding & Your Home Security – Tips and Tricks to Staying Safe During Load Shedding
Load shedding… the bane of every South African citizens’ existence. With the state of the national power grid, load shedding can be compared to that of a crouching tiger, with little warning and great consequence it pounces upon its unsuspecting victims. This is the unfortunate reality that we find ourselves in and need to adapt as quickly as possible for load shedding’s impact to be as minimal as plausible.
In the not too distant past, Eskom implemented stage 4 load shedding for the first time in history, after initially scheduling stage 2 load shedding due to the wet coal debacle Eskom upscaled the scheduling to stage 4 after 7 generating units tripped. After publicly announcing that load shedding will be a looming threat for the next 18 months, South African citizens will now be exposed to the most common risks associated with load shedding, damage to appliances and the lingering security threat, more frequently.
The increased risk of opportunistic individuals seeking a five-finger discount should be on the top of everyone’s mind and taking this into consideration, we have composed some tips and tricks to stay safe while the lights are out.
1) Install backup batteries for your security systems.
– Load shedding and frequent power cuts tend to wear out battery/power packs wear out at an increased rate. This, in turn, creates the need for us to regularly check the condition of our security systems and ensure that their back up source of power is maintained and of a stable working condition. We can do this maintenance ourselves by installing newer batteries into alarm systems, checking the condition of motorised gates’ backup battery, installing a backup power supply for electric fences or having a generator to do all the above for you.
It is also advisable that all chargeable devices and appliances such as cell-phones and laptops are kept as charged as possible in order to off-set the impact of load shedding. It is also a good idea to have an emergency phone charger close by, this comes in handy during extended power outages.
2) Ensure you have as much illumination as feasibly possible
– Signs of activity and well-lit areas often act as deterrents for criminals as it increases the risk for them, therefore investing solar powered outdoor lights, candles, emergency lights, torches or even powering your home with gas lamps, stoves etc. is one of the better choices you’ll make. Keeping your garden as well as your house as well lit as possible will not only make someone think twice before trying anything suspicious but also ease your own mind at the same time.
3) Be vigilant and keep emergency contact numbers easily accessible
– Most importantly, during load shedding, stay as vigilant as possible and be aware of your surroundings. Having an active Whatsapp community group is a great tool that is becoming more popular with each passing day where community members band together and keep members informed of activity within the area. If any suspicious activity is spotted or suspected, the best thing to do is have your emergency contacts at hand, the list should include numbers for emergency services such as the fire department, police, and medical services, and report the said activity to SAPS as quickly as possible.
4) General tips
– When using gas-powered appliances and candles, the risk of fire is increased, in order to implement measures against fire hazards, you should consider installing fire extinguishers around your home. Make sure that any fixed gas lines follow regulations and are certified in order to reduce risk.
– Unplug unused appliances or consider installing surge protection plugs which can reduce the risk of damage to your appliances.
Installing surge protection will greatly reduce the risk of damage to your appliances, you can have surge protection at your electrical board or simply by the outlets of each device
– Generators produce carbon monoxide which is highly toxic and highly flammable and should not be used within an enclosed space.
– Back up any important data and information regularly to minimise the impact of load shedding, which may lead to significant loss of data.
Stay safe with the lights out and for all things Properties, stay tuned to B-Sure!