Lifestyle

5 Best Ways to Prepare for Load Shedding

Story Highlights
  • #1 – Take precautions at home
  • #2 – Power congestion during loadshedding
  • #3 – Security during loadshedding
  • #4 – Alternative electricity options
  • #5 – Check your insurance

Loadshedding has been part of our lives for a few years and it doesn’t seem as if it is getting any better.

It is so ingrained in South African culture that it almost feels as familiar as pap and chakalaka – just not as lekker.

Not only does load shedding lead to serious economic problems but it can severely damage the electronics at home. It is also the perfect opportunity for criminals to do their rounds.

There are many ways in which homeowners can prepare for load shedding to ensure it causes minimal damage. Here is a basic how-to guide:

#1 – Take precautions at home

The government has been generous enough to notify us when we would experience load shedding and this makes it easier for us to plan ahead.

Before load shedding strikes in your area, switch off geysers, appliances, pool pumps, and other electronic equipment. A strong surge from the electricity coming back on can cause severe damage to these items.

To combat this, you can consider installing surge arrester plugs that limit the damage of the power coming back. This is also helpful if you live in an area where there are a lot of electrical storms.

An uninterrupted power supply or a generator can also help in providing power for a short period. 

#2 – Power congestion during loadshedding

Along with electrical surges, you should also be aware of possible power congestion during load shedding.

Power outages are often accompanied by power congestion and they can cause damage to your electronic equipment.

You can install power congestion isolators on your main power distribution board. This will help in preventing damage done to your computer, fridge, and gate motor.

It is also helpful if your area experiences other irregular power outages that you don’t expect to happen. 

#3 – Security during loadshedding

During load shedding, security systems often fail to protect us because it works on electricity. Many alarm systems work on a backup battery but this too can run flat before the power returns.

Criminals know this which is why load shedding is such a vulnerable period for homeowners.

Before load shedding hits, make sure that your backup batteries are fully charged to keep the systems running.

You should also double-check your gate motor batteries and remote batteries to ensure that these are charged as well.

Try to install panic buttons on your cell phones, so that you can still reach your armed response service in case of an emergency. 

#4 – Alternative electricity options

Since the implementation of load shedding, many homeowners are switching to alternative electricity options.

The goal here is to be less dependent on Eskom or to go off the grid completely.

Solar panels are a popular option and they can boost the value of your home. It turns your home into a green home which is a trend that will gain popularity amongst homeowners in the future.

Solar panels, however, can be costly to install. You must do enough research before making the switch. 

#5 – Check your insurance

Just because load shedding is an inevitable part of South African life, it does not mean that your insurance policy is updated automatically.

You need to double-check your policy and see what the requirements are for successful claims due to damage done during load shedding.

Many insurers require proof of compliance to show that you have followed the insurer’s terms and conditions.

Your policy might state that if you are a client of armed response, for example, your alarm must remain connected if you want to successfully claim. 

Loadshedding is a huge inconvenience for businesses and households but it isn’t going away any time soon. You must, therefore, ensure that you take the necessary precautions as outlined above to protect your belongings. 


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