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Preparing for Power Outages

Power outages could affect your household activities. Every resident should consider the following:-

  • How would a power outage affect my home?
  • What are appropriate risk management or mitigation activities we can take – both before a power outage occurs, and during an outage?
  • Are our risk management or mitigation plans up to date and ready to be activated?  

Regarding your premises, you may find it useful to consider the following:-

Alarms – will your alarm system automatically re-start when power is restored? If your system has temporary back-up batteries, how long will they work for? Consult your instruction manual or contact your alarm installer or manufacturer for more information.

Electric gates and doors – some systems have an override (key or lever) to allow manual operation during a power outage. Check your user manual or contact the manufacturer for instructions. Some systems have battery backup and will continue to operate for a short time.

Electrical and electronic equipment – consider switching off or unplugging sensitive electrical and electronic equipment if a storm, outage or lightning strike seems possible. This may include computers and audio visual equipment. If any of your computers has an auto-save function, consider how frequently it operates.

Generators - use generators with extreme caution and only to power appliances directly. Do not connect the output to the switchboard or wiring as this can cause a safety risk for AusNet Services’ own field workers. Make sure a registered electrician undertakes any such work.

If you have any general enquiries about these matters, please ring us during business hours on 1300 360 795.

 track power outage
 

Faults and emergencies

To report faults or emergencies,
contact our 24 hour customer service line on 13 17 99 or email us on
faultsinfoline@ausnetservices.com.au


Storms

If you live in an area prone to storms, we recommend making a plan to help you minimise risk and take action in the event of storm damage or a power outage. Some factors to consider before, during and after a storm are provided below and also in our Preparing for Storms brochure.

 

Before a storm

  • Regularly prune any trees growing close to private electricity lines on your property – please consult with an appropriately qualified contractor.
  • Fully charge your mobile phone.
  • Keep a battery-operated radio and torch on hand (as well as spare batteries).
  • Ensure you know how to manually open your electric garage door.
  • Turn your fridge to a cooler setting to help keep food colder for longer during an outage.
  • Adjust the ‘autosave’ function on your computer for more frequent back-up of important documents. 

 

During a storm

  • Stay well away from fallen powerlines and immediately report a fault.
  • Do not use damaged or wet appliances.
  • Do not use a landline phone during a storm – this can result in an electric shock.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio for weather and power updates.
  • Turn all power points off at the wall during an outage and leave one light on to alert you when power is restored.

 

After a storm

  • Contact an electrical contractor to inspect and repair any damage, then call us on 13 77 99 to have your power restored.
  • Take extra care around your switchboard, particularly if it’s outdoors – wear synthetic or rubber-soled shoes to reduce your chance of electric shock.
  • Continue to listen to a battery-operated radio for weather and power updates.
  • Alert your neighbours of any potential danger.
  • Do not connect a portable generator to your wiring unless an electrical contractor has installed an isolating switch.
  • Do not swim in floodwaters – live wiring or fallen powerlines may be in or around the water.
  • Contact the Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) on 13 25 00, or your local council, if you require emergency relief or support.

 

Bushfires

During a bushfire, you may experience interruptions to your electricity and/or gas supply, even if your property isn’t directly affected. For this reason, your bushfire contingency plan should factor in a possible loss of gas and electricity.


Supply considerations

Some things to consider as part of your bushfire plan are provided below.

  • The CFA or MFB may disconnect your electricity and/or gas to fight a bushfire, or to prevent other fires from starting.
  • Activation of automatic disconnection switches may cut off your electricity supply in high winds or if a tree branch falls on powerlines.
  • Damage to powerlines and poles may cause a power outage, meaning you won’t be able to use appliances and communications, such as your telephone, lights, television and radio.
  • Sprinkler systems, hoses and pumps may not operate if your mains water supply is affected, or if these systems are powered by electricity.
  • Reconnection of your electricity may take up to several hours or even days, depending on the time it takes to access the area, conduct repairs and ensure safety.

 

Plan to survive

  • Establish a bushfire contingency plan – be clear about when to leave.
  • Install an alternative water supply and back-up generator to pump water.
  • Keep a mobile phone handy and try to ensure the battery is fully charged.
  • Ensure you have access to battery-operated torches, radios and spare batteries.
  • Contact your local community fireguard or CFA to assist with your bushfire plan.
  • Review your plan each year and check all related equipment on a regular basis.