Reports indicate that we can expect load shedding to continue for the foreseeable future. This poses an increased risk of opportunistic crimes because the load shedding schedules are made public for all – including criminals.
According to Marius Steyn Santam’s personal lines underwriting manager, South Africans need to mitigate risk and damage caused by load shedding by being prepared. Eskom implemented Stage 4 load shedding last Thursday for the first time in history and as the load shedding stages increase, so does the possibility that appliances get damaged by repeated power cuts.
According to Christelle Colman from Old Mutual Insure, the two main risks associated with load shedding are damages to appliances and the security threat. Colman gave these tips to stay safe during load shedding:
1. Get back-up batteries for alarm systems
2. Have a spare torch or headlamp
3. Install reserve batteries for fences and gates
4. Save emergency contact information (on your phone and on paper)
5. Charge electronic devices (and keep emergency chargers on hand)
6. Have gas for cooking and lighting (boil the kettle just before scheduled load shedding and keep hot water in a flask)
7. Unplug all cables ( to avoid electricity spikes when the power comes back on)
8. Install surge protection (have a device fitted to your electrical distribution board)
9. Back up data
10. Only use generators outside (they produce carbon monoxide which could be fatal)
Being prepared is ultimately the end goal to ensure your personal safety. Make sure you’re extra vigilant about locking doors and gates. Remember to use the manual option for electric gates and motors so that your car isn’t stuck in the garage! Just be sure to add other security measures to be safe.