Severe storms can strike at anytime leaving behind a trail of destruction. In a worst-case scenario they may result in property damage, serious injury and even loss of life. Brisbane’s storm season can often be unpredictable which is why you should be prepared and put a plan in place to protect your family, pets and property.
Spring and Summer are peak times for electrical contractors as we receive call outs for a range of things from fan and aircon installations to storm surge problems.
Here are our top tips for getting your home ready for storm season:
Check your insurance policy before storm season hits. Storms can cause damage to property in a number of ways including flying debris, water leakage and even flooding. It’s a good idea to review your home and contents insurance policy to ensure you are adequately covered for storm damage.
Make sure your home is surge protected. A power surge caused by a lightning strike or downed power line can destroy modern day electrical appliances. Homeowners can buy their own surge protectors (which plug into your electrical sockets), however, if you are serious about protecting your home from power surges, you might want to look at getting a switchboard mounted surge arrestor to protect all of your electronic equipment. It’s best to discuss your needs with a qualified electrical contractor to determine what system is best for you.
Test your safety switch. Safety switches minimise the risk of electrical shocks and are designed to prevent injury or death. Make sure you test your home’s safety switch regularly, especially leading up to storm season. Make sure also that each circuit has a safety switch on it. If you are unsure of what circuits your safety switch covers, contact a qualified electrician.
Unplug electrical items as soon as a storm starts to form and resist the urge to use anything still connected (like the phone). This is to protect your appliances from damage that may be caused by a power surge and also to protect you from electrocution. If you are using a connected appliance when a power surge happens and your safety switch fails then the electrical current will pass through you as it makes its way to the earth.
NEVER touch fallen power lines. Take care when cleaning up after a storm as high winds and debris can cause fallen power lines. Be cautious around fallen branches, debris and water as power lines can be hiding. Always assume power lines are live.
If you do come across a fallen power line make sure you call:
Know who to call. If your entire street loses power then you should call your electricity provider. However, if you are the only house in the street without power then you will need to contact an electrician. Read more on this via our blog when to call an electrical contractor.
For more information on preparing for storm season visit getready.qld.gov.au.