How To

What Are the Main Causes of Power Cuts and How Can You Prevent Them?

Burning candle near a switched off light bulb

For most of us, power cuts are usually just a nuisance. It causes disruption to our tv shows and the possibility that our frozen food will defrost. However, as our reliance on power continues to grow, there are fears that we could experience more power cuts in the future.


What Is a Power Cut?

A power cut or power outage occurs when electricity is lost in an area for a period of time. Power cuts can be planned, for example, if services are being installed in a new housing estate, or they can be an act of nature, like a lightning strike.

With modern life so dependent on electricity, power outages can have a huge impact, not only on our home life but on the economy as a whole.


What Are the Common Causes of Power Cuts?


Voltage dips and shortage power cuts

Voltage dips can occur when powerlines are affected. Typically, a fault with a powerline is caused by a bird strike. These types of outages tend to be short and intermittent.


Acts of nature

Acts of nature are the most common cause of power outages. Typically, these are caused by lightning, flooding, and fallen trees. Depending on the devastation, these outages can last hours or even days. In 2021, Storm Arwen left thousands of residents in the North East without power for 10 days.


Planned work

Sometimes contractors and local councils will need to carry out work on powerlines. This will cause an outage whilst the works are being carried out. However, planned power outages tend to last only a few days and residents are given plenty of advanced warnings.


How to Help Yourself in Power Cuts?

Whilst power cuts are sporadic, preparing yourself for a power cut is prudent. Because some power cuts can cause a power surge, you should protect your electrical equipment by using ‘anti-spike’ leads or adaptors.

If you live in an area that’s susceptible to high winds, floods, or storms, investing in a backup generator can give you that much-needed peace of mind.

With many of us working from home currently, you might want to consider an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). A UPS uses its internal battery to keep your computer and other small electrical devices running during an outage. If you experience a power cut, you may call 105 to enquire. If it’s a local or national power cut, they’ll be able to provide you with more information.