Power outage safety and preparation

When bushfires happen, prepare for extended power outages

  • Fires - especially bushfires - can cause extended power outages. Because of this you should not rely on power supply as part of your Bushfire Survival Plan
  • Be prepared for a power outage by making sure mobile phones and other essential electronic devices are charged
  • Equipment such as electric water pumps can't be used if your power supply is interrupted – a generator, diesel or petrol-powered pump is an important backup
  • Exercise caution when using generators. Never use a generator inside or try to power the house or "backfeed" supply
  • In the event of fire in your area, stay away from fallen powerlines and report fallen powerlines or power outages to us on 132 004
  • Listen to your local ABC Radio station and keep up to date with current outages by following us on Facebook
  • Hot and windy weather can increase the sag and swing of powerlines. A reminder to Look Up, Look Out for sagging powerlines and anything that could touch them. Report any instances of fallen powerlines to us on 132 004 immediately

Total Fire Ban days

  • For everyone’s safety, on Total Fire Ban days we take extra precautions when operating the electricity network
  • These precautions include altering our processes to ensure power doesn’t automatically restore following a fault
  • As this process involves a physical inspection of powerlines, it may take a longer for power outages to be restored
  • We understand no one likes power outages and longer restoration times may be frustrating. However, the safety of our people and our communities are our number one priority and this process is an important part of reducing the risk of fire

After a bushfire

  • When returning to your home make sure it’s safe to do so
  • Keep an eye out for fallen or damaged powerlines. Report fallen or damaged powerlines to us on 132 004
  • If you’re returning to your home in a bushfire-affected area, ensure your CablePI is plugged in and switched on. When it's working correctly it'll show a solid green light. An alarm or flashing amber light indicates a problem. If this occurs, stay away from sinks, taps or other metallic objects in your house and immediately call us on 132 004
  • If you don't have a CablePI, order one for free
  • Should you experience tingling taps, flickering lights or notice any other indications that something might be wrong, contact us immediately on 132 004
  • If your home (and buildings like sheds and carports) has been impacted by fire (including by embers and ash) your electrical wiring, circuit breakers and fuses will need to be confirmed safe to connect, or remain connected by an electrician
  • Have your home inspected by an electrician and repairs carried out before contacting us to have power restored. For safety purposes, an electrician will have to provide us with a Certificate of Electrical Compliance before reconnection if you’ve been disconnected for safety reasons
  • Don't plug in or use appliances or equipment that may have been damaged by fire until they've been checked by an electrician. If you're unsure if equipment has been damaged, have it inspected before you plug it in

Be prepared for an outage

  • Stay in touch – follow us on Facebook and Twitter and check our website for current outages on your mobile device
  • Keep informed of storm and bushfire warnings through TasAlert on Facebook and Twitter
  • Keep our 24-hour fault number 132 004 in an accessible place (such as on your fridge or save it as a contact in your mobile phone)
  • Prepare a home emergency kit that includes items to assist you during outages:
    • 100% charged radio tuned to ABC Local Radio for outage restoration updates
    • A  100% charged torch 
    • A 100% charged mobile phone (and other electronic devices like tablets)
      • Remember the appropriate chargers and spare batteries! Chargers can be plugged into a car's 12V outlet or plugged into a car's USB port
    • A first aid kit and any medications essential to you and your family’s health
    • Special items for vulnerable people, such as babies or the disabled
    • Non-perishable food and water
    • Utensils and a can opener
    • Be aware that if you have solar panels, your power will still go out unless you have a battery storage system set up for off-grid operation
    • If you use gas bottles, have a spare one as well
    • If you use electricity for heating, have some extra blankets and clothing

If you wish to include items that'll assist you in storms and bushfires, view the information provided by TasAlert.

  • Know how to manually override electronic access to your home or garage
  • Tie down loose items around your home and garden that could become airborne during severe winds such as outdoor furniture, trampolines and other play equipment
  • Call us on 132 004 if you see sparks from powerlines nearby or trees or foliage too close to powerlines
  • If you're dependent on electric powered, life-sustaining equipment, view our information for life support customers

Stay safe during outages

  • Always stay well clear of fallen powerlines, they may be live. Report fallen powerlines to 132 004
  • In storms, avoid using a landline phone. If you experience dimmed or flickering lights, turn off and unplug non-essential appliances. Don't touch your switchboard or anything metallic (including taps) and call us on 132 004 (using a mobile phone only). Check your CablePI - When it's working correctly it'll show a solid green light. An alarm or flashing amber light indicates a problem
  • Disconnect or turn off all appliances such as chargers, TVs, computers, laptops, modem/routers or any appliance that'll turn on automatically when power is restored. If several appliances start at once they may overload electrical circuits
  • Listen to your local ABC radio station on a battery-operated radio or the car radio for power restoration updates
  • Use battery-operated torches. Don't use candles as this increases the risk of fire
  • Avoid opening the fridge or freezer. Food will last longer if you keep doors closed
  • Use a portable generator with extreme caution. Always use it in a well-ventilated area and connect appliances directly to the generator. Keep the generator dry and don't use in wet conditions
  • Cook on a gas BBQ - but leave it outside. It's dangerous to bring a gas-fired BBQ inside
  • Don't plug back-up generators into your switchboard. It's dangerous and can impact the crews trying to repair the network
  • If you have solar panels, these may still be generating electricity even if your lights are out. Don't climb onto your roof to inspect the panels - stay well away
  • Keep the house warm in winter by pulling curtains closed and be aware pipes can freeze and burst in winter. If necessary, let taps drip slowly. Tank water users may need to take different measures
  • Leave one light turned on so you know when power is restored

When power is restored

  • Restock and recharge batteries you used
  • Throw out food that has gone off in the fridge or freezer
  • If you have solar panels, we recommend you check to ensure your solar system has been restored after any planned or unplanned outage. Not all solar inverters switch back on automatically after an outage