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Posted on 14 February 2022

What To Do In A Power Cut

Nobody enjoys a power cut, especially in the middle of the night, or in stormy weather when they’re most common. Preparing for a power outage so you’re not left in the dark can help, along with knowing how to identify the most common problems.

We’ve put together a handy guide on what to do in the event of a power cut to help.

You have no electricity

Have your appliances stopped working? Lights gone out? Check outside to see if there are any streetlights on or whether your neighbours still have lights. If you can see lights elsewhere, it’s likely that the problem is in your home rather than being a real power cut.

If you’re on a pre-payment meter, check you haven’t run out of credit; if your meter display shows the word ‘debt’ it means you’ve run out and need to top up your balance.

Tripped switches

The problem may be that you’ve tripped a switch in your fuse box. Check this first, to see if it’ll be an easy fix.

All you need to do is lift the cover – you’ll know if any of them have tripped as they’ll be in the down position. To reset them, you need to flick them into the up position.

If the switches trip again immediately, or you’re experiencing frequent power cuts, it’s likely you have a faulty appliance or a problem with your wiring.

To spot a faulty appliance, plug each device in one-by-one to work out which is causing the problem. You’ll need to get a qualified engineer to repair the appliance for you.

If a fuse has blown, you can repair this or, if you’re not comfortable with the work, call a qualified electrician.

Power cut

If you haven’t tripped a fuse and it looks like your neighbours’ lights are out too, it’s likely that you’re experiencing a power cut.

You can take the following steps:

  • Switch off any appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended when the power comes back on
  • Leave a light turned on at the wall so you can tell when the power has come back on
  • Wrap up warm – especially in winter when your home would usually be heated
  • Report the power cut to your network distributer

TIP: to report a power cut, you’ll need to find the power outage phone number for your network distributer. Search your postcode on the Energy Networks website. Alternatively, call ‘105’ from your mobile or landline and it’ll automatically connect you to your network’s emergency number.

Preparation

In order to get through a power cut smoothly, you could make a power cut survival kit. Here are a few items you could include:

  • Battery-operated torch
  • Battery pack for your mobile phone
  • Blankets for keeping warm
  • Food and drink that can be prepared with no electricity

Taking out Complete Home Emergency Cover with Home Emergency Assist can also provide you with Internal Electricity Cover. We’ll help in the event of an electrical failure of at least one complete circuit. If you upgrade to Premium, we’ll also repair or replace any item (excluding items with plugs) or system after your supply meter which causes breakdown or failure of your electrical wiring system.

You can also take out Appliance Cover which covers up to ten of your most important kitchen appliances against mechanical or electrical breakdown.

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plan, plumbing and drainage insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as boiler and central heating insurance and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online.

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Posted on 22 November 2021

Electrical Fire Safety Week 2021

According to the latest government statistics, cooking fires are the main cause of fires within the home, but faulty electrics cause around 4,000 fires each year.

This is why, Electrical Safety First are running Electrical Fire Safety Week from 22 to 28 November to raise awareness of electrical fire risks and simple steps you can take to avoid a devastating fire in your home.

One of the most important ways you can do this is to make sure you have smoke alarms correctly installed at home.

Types of smoke alarm

There are four main types of fire alarm:

  • Ionisation: these alarms detect flaming fires before the smoke gets too thick
  • Optical: these are better for detecting slow-burning fires and are far less likely to go off accidentally. These are ideal for us in ground-floor hallways and home on one level
  • Thermoptek: these alarms are effective for the rapid detection of both slow-burning and fast-flaming fires by monitoring heat and smoke together. These are ideal for any room of the house bar kitchens and bathrooms
  • Thermistek: these detect rapid rises in temperature and are ideal for use in the kitchen, where most house fires begin. These can also be used in dusty environments like garages

Smart Alarms: some smart alarm systems can test for both smoke and carbon monoxide. These let you know what’s wrong and can alert your smart phone whether you’re at home or away. Smart alarms can also self-test to make sure your batteries are okay.

Where to put your smoke alarms

The Fire Service recommend that you put at least one smoke detector on each level of your home. It’s also wise to install extra alarms in rooms with large appliances such as televisions and fridge-freezers.
It’s important to fit smoke alarms where you’ll be able to hear them if you’re asleep. Don’t install a smoke alarm in your bathroom as steam may set some alarms off accidentally.

Fit your smoke alarm to your ceiling, as close to the centre of the room/hallway as possible. Keep at least 30cm away from walls and light fittings.

You shouldn’t fit a smoke alarm in kitchens or garages where they could be set off accidentally by steam or smoke. You should instead install a heat detector in the kitchen; this will detect any increase in temperature due to a fire but won’t be set off easily by cooking smoke.

Specialist alarms

There are a wide range of products to help protect all members of your family. Low frequency alarms sound at a lower pitch than regular alarms, meaning they’re more likely to wake younger children, older people and those with hearing difficulties.

You can also get strobe alarms which flash repeatedly to alert your household to the danger and even pads which can be placed under a pillow which vibrate to provide additional warnings. When used in conjunction with regular smoke alarms, you can make sure everyone in your household is safe.

Other safety advice

Image of kitchen white goods
Every year, half of accidental domestic fires are caused by electricity, with over five fires a day in England being caused by white goods – such as tumble dryers, washing machines and dishwashers -alone.

  • Don’t buy your appliances and electrical goods from online marketplaces; in the UK, online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Wish are not bound by the same laws as traditional retailers.
  • Always turn your appliances off at the plug when not in use. This significantly reduces the likelihood of a fire occurring.
  • Call a qualified electrician if you suspect any of your electrics are faulty. Don’t try and do the work yourself.

If you take out Premium Complete Home Emergency Cover before a problem develops, not only will we help you if you suffer the failure of at least one complete electrical circuit within the home bit we’ll assist you to repair or replace any system after your supply meter which causes your main electrical wiring system to stop working.

We also offer Appliance Cover where you can insure up to ten of your most important kitchen appliances, such as dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, and oven, against mechanical or electrical breakdowns.

To find out more about our boiler and central heating insurance, plumbing and drainage insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as Complete Home Emergency plans and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online.

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Get a quote for Complete Home Emergency Cover today!
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