If you’re well prepared and have a good insurance policy, power cuts needn’t be a disaster…
Your home’s plunged into darkness, the TV goes off and your fridge suddenly stops humming: You’re in the grip of a power cut. Unfortunately, power cuts come without warning, and while some may only last for seconds others could leave you without electricity for hours.
What causes a power cut?
Power cuts can be caused by accidents which damage electricity cables, severe weather, falling trees or vandalism. Even if you don’t have a full power cut, a voltage dip can cause flickering or dimming lights and you might need to reset your alarm clock, TV or DVD player. What should you do in a power cut? Check your trip switch, wiring and appliances to make sure it’s not just a fault with your home’s electricity. If there doesn’t seem to be a problem, ask your neighbours if they’ve lost power too. It’s easier to tell if the whole street has lost power at night, as street lamps and other lights may have gone out. Once you’ve established it’s a power cut, call your electricity supplier and let them know what time the electricity went off. They should be able to give you an idea of how long it will last, and will often provide a recorded message if there’s a widespread problem. If the heating has gone off, stay in one room and wrap up warm. Leave one light switch turned on so you’ll know when the power’s been restored. Unplug all your other electrical appliances.
Can you prepare for a power cut?
Keep the number of your electricity supplier handy. Have a survival kit ready in a place that’s easy to find in the dark, which should include a torch as well as candles and matches. Use candles safely and never leave them unattended. Make sure you have an alarm clock that doesn’t rely on electricity so that if the power cut lasts overnight you know you’ll still wake up for work. Set the phone on your alarm as long as it’s fully charged, or keep a battery operated alarm clock for emergencies.
How can you deal with longer-lasting effects?
Power cuts are, of course, a temporary inconvenience, but they can also have lasting effects. If your well-stocked freezer is out of action for just a few hours, hundreds of pounds worth of food can be ruined. Once the power is restored, check that the food in your fridge hasn’t gone off, and how much in your freezer has thawed. It’s not always safe to refreeze food once it’s been defrosted, so don’t take any chances. Fortunately, John Lewis Home Insurance covers any loss or damage to your frozen food if it’s unfit to eat because a power cut has defrosted your freezer or the frozen compartment of your fridge. So you can stock up on food, and rest assured that your money won’t be wasted if something does go wrong.
About John Lewis Insurance:
John Lewis Home Insurance offers good value and the high standard of customer service you’d expect. Some of the benefits on offer:
• Unlimited Buildings and Contents Cover
• Optional Accidental Damage Cover for buildings and contents - from a DIY mishap to red wine on the carpet
• Alternative Accommodation - somewhere to stay if your home becomes uninhabitable, after a flood for example.
• Worldwide Personal Possessions Cover up to £25,000.
• Optional 24 hour Home Emergency service - up to £1,500 including labour and parts.
*There is no total sum insured limit but money, single article and total valuable limits apply