Why You Should Switch Off Appliances and Devices During Load Shedding
With all the load shedding taking place at the moment, switching off appliances and devices during load shedding is a wise choice for three important reasons.
Everyone is experiencing the inconvenience of load shedding especially when it starts at Stage 1 then goes to Stage 3 or 4 and then to Stage 2. You set yourself up for load shedding at a specific time only to find out that your area has moved to a different level and a new time is allotted. That makes it even more difficult to plan for lack of electricity. This is our new normal folks and there isn't much we can do about it other than look at alternative power sources such as a generator/inverter, UPS, rechargeable or gas appliances.
Reason #1 to switch off during load shedding
Current circumstances have shown that not all load shedding involves a 2-hour cut off period in fact, many homes are experiencing lengthy periods without power for many reasons. Faults that occur on the lines, damage to equipment, theft of cables, and more mean that a 2-hour period of load shedding could last a lot longer. This makes looking at alternative power sources a better solution even if you have yet to experience an extended period of load shedding.
Having alternative energy sources means that you can switch over to these before load shedding occurs and continue with life even if the power does stay off for a while. Switching off before load shedding also ties into the next reason to switch off during (before) load shedding.
Reason #2 to switch off during load shedding
This second reason is concerned with switching off before load shedding for two additional reasons.
Prevent Fire Hazards
If you know that everything is switched off before load shedding begins, you won't have to worry about everything automatically coming on again when the power returns. If you leave a bedroom light when load shedding occurs, you will be rudely wakened when the power comes back on. On a more serious note, any heaters or electrical devices left on during load shedding could become a dangerous hazard if still on when power returns.
You only have to browse through chats on the City Power site on Twitter to see how many areas are affected by load shedding being a longer time than it should. The reason given for the most common factor is overloading. If everyone leaves appliances and devices switched on when load shedding has taken place, as soon as power is restored, these devices switch on an overload the already overwhelmed switches and cause these to trip. If appliances and devices remain on, it is even harder to rectify this problem and we all know that is already takes 2 or more hours before anyone attends to the problem. If we all make an effort to switch off electrical appliances and devices there would be less incidents of overloading in many areas.
Reason #3 to switch off during load shedding
This last reason is one that I have mentioned before about how you should invest in surge protectors and that everyone should put this into practice in their own home. The power going off for load shedding is all fine and well, but when the power returns there is a big possibility of power surges that can damage your appliances and electronic devices. And it should be noted that just switching off is not good enough - appliances and devices should be unplugged. Simply switching off won't stop the surge of current that can fry electronics, and this also ties in to Reason #1 above to have an alternate power source in the event of constant load shedding throughout the day or night.