Like most developed nations, the UK is fortunate to have a steady power supply. Even still the long journey electricity travels from the grid to your property can have faults on the way. From network power outages, appliances blowing the fuses, or even the possibility of upcoming blackouts due to the energy crisis. We look at what to do if the power goes off in your student accommodation.
It could be something simple, a fuse could have tripped, a single bulb could have failed or an appliance broken. The main thing is to stay calm and try to figure out what happened.
Find out where the power cut is. It’s also worth knowing the location of the fuse box and meter when you start your tenancy in the event of the power going you’re not having to hunt for them potentially in the dark.
Things you’ll need in case of a prolonged period without electricity.
When we say prolonged, we mean a period without electricity that can’t be solved by yourselves and needs outside help to rectify such as calling the electricity company and getting them to send someone out. The time frame can never be set as infrastructure work such as digging up roads outside your property may need to be done. But in the meantime, your heating and hot water most likely won’t be on so if it’s cold wrap up warm. Make sure you have a torch or a candle that you can put on to provide some light if needed.
If you have a gas cooker that you can light without an electric spark turning a hob on can be a source of heat to boil water, make simple foods and keep warm in the kitchen.
Be mindful of using the torch function on your phone
Most people would instantly think about using the torch function on a mobile phone when they need one. Be wary though as this can greatly drain your battery quickly and without the power on to recharge it, you might be stuck with no light and no communication.
Find out where the issue is
Get your detective skills ready. If the lights go out, check that other electrical devices like appliances and plugs are on, If they are chances are the fuse board has tripped out on a circuit. If the lights are on but other electrical devices aren’t then the same issue has occurred. Modern electrical circuits in properties are no longer controlled by fuse wire, meaning resetting the fuse board is as simple as correctly flipping a few switches.
Turn absolutely everything off and follow our maintenance manager Brad’s helpful Youtube video on how to correctly reset the fuse board.
Once completed turn the lights back on and check they are all working correctly If one has gone out turn the light off at the switch and for extra safety on the fuse board. you will then have to replace it. If the fuse board gets tripped again it may indicate a fault in the wire or fitting so report it for repair.
If all the lights are on correctly, start turning devices and appliances on one at a time, If the fuse board trips again then the last electrical item you turned on chances are it’s faulty and will need to be looked at. Turn it off and unplug it.
Faulty electrical Items
Try another device in the plug if possible to eliminate the possibility that it is the plug socket at fault. We are responsible for the sockets and some appliances provided with the accommodation so report them to us. However, if it’s a personal device or appliance it will need to be fixed at an appropriately registered service center.
If the electrical item does not turn back on it may mean that the fuse in the plug has blown. Again we can repair appliances provided by us, but you will have to change the fuse in plugs for items you own where possible.
Nothing is on even after the fuse board has been reset.
If nothing is still coming on after you have checked the fuse board then the issue is down to either your electricity supplier or the regional distributor. To check go outside and see if the neighbours have power and the street lights are on. If so then the problem is only related to your property and you need to contact your electricity supplier (the people you pay the bills to!)
If your neighbours don’t have power and the street lights aren’t on it may be a problem with the infrastructure, and you will have to contact them to report it. You can find your regional power distributor responsible for this by calling 105 or visiting https://www.powercut105.com/
All the major power distributors operate a priority register for the elderly, very ill or disabled people. You can find out more here https://www.nationalgrid.co.uk/customers-and-community/priority-services/benefits-of-being-on-our-register
What to do if the power goes off in your student accommodation at night
If you’re awake when the power goes off at night, be extra careful when trying to move around in the dark, even with a torch or other light source stairs, trip hazards can be dangerous.
Wondering what to do about the contents of the fridge? If you keep the doors shut and the door seals clean. Food can remain fresh for up to four hours in a refrigerator, 48 hours in a full freezer, and 24 hours in a half freezer. So you may not have to worry about replacing it provided it’s sorted in that time frame.
Get ready for the power to come back on.
At some point the power is going to come back on, When a rush of electricity comes into a property in one go it can cause what is known as a spike. This will trip all the safety systems that British electrical systems have to provide. You may need to reset the fuse box again. To minimise this and to reduce the chances of damaging fuses in plugs, or other internal fuses in electrical items. Turn all of them off at the plug whilst the power is off. When the power returns turn them back on slowly one at a time. If internal fuses of electrical items are blown, they can be costly to repair or in the worst cases have to replace the item completely.
Keep a single light turned on though so that you will know when the power is back on.
Looking for more information about What to do if the power goes off in your student accommodation?
The National Grid website has plenty of information to help you on your journey to getting the power back on
About Thornsett Properties
Thornsett Properties have been providing modern student accommodation in Sheffield since 1985. We supply accommodation to over 650 undergraduates and postgraduate students studying at Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University every year. Designed to fit with your budget whilst looking for student accommodation. Thornsett Properties are property owners and not agents. All our properties are managed by ourselves and not reliant on third parties. We aim to help manage what to do if the power goes out in your student accommodation in Sheffield