What is load shedding?
Load shedding is a deliberate stoppage of power supply to a power distribution system with a primary objective to prevent the failure of the complete system. It is typically done across the country to protect its power system from a complete blackout, or it can also be a more localized event.
Load shedding in South Africa
Recently, load shedding became an unwelcome phenomenon, thanks to the ongoing energy crisis in South Africa. The crisis began in late 2007 when South Africa started facing severe demand-supply imbalance in electricity. It is continuing even today, and the country is countering it through scheduled load shedding. Eskom, the national power supplier of South Africa, has published eight stages of load shedding based on the amount of energy removed from the national grid. Currently, the country is at stage 6 wherein 6000 MW was removed from the national supply, which means nearly 37% of the grid users do not have a power supply.
Load shedding security tips
Being without a continuous power supply is highly challenging, especially in this era where almost all our activities are dependent on electricity. However, with the energy crisis, load shedding becomes an inevitable situation. It is up to the people to follow certain measures to stay safe during load shedding. This becomes even more crucial when you are in a country that has a high crime rate because load shedding poses a perfect opportunity for criminals to strike. Here are four load shedding security tips for you to stay safe:
1) Double-check and strengthen the alarm system
If your house has an alarm system, ensure that you test it properly before the load shedding happens. Contact your alarm system provider and ask them to check whether they are receiving the signals even during a time when there is no power. It is also recommended to purchase a back-up battery for the alarm system in case the original one is not working. Keep doing regular maintenance of your alarm system to ensure that it works smoothly in all situations.
2) Secure the surrounding areas
The next step is to completely secure the areas around your house using fail-safe measures that can keep you secure during load shedding. Install battery-operated lights or solar lights in all the strategic locations around the house to ensure there are adequate lighting and visibility during load shedding. Solar lights have an added advantage that it is also environment-friendly and can go easy on your electricity bill.
When the house is well lit, it will instil hesitation in the minds of unwanted guests at your house. Also, do not forget to connect these lights with the main electric supply to allow them to automatically switch on at the time of load shedding. If your gate is electronic, then ensure that it is sufficiently charged on all occasions. You do not want to be left stranded outside during load shedding.
3) Equip yourself with devices
Even after securing your alarm system and surrounding areas, you cannot be 100% sure that crimes will not happen. You need to ensure that you are equipped with all the adequate tools and applications to fight crime. For example, have a powerful torch at an easily accessible place for you to pick it up even in complete darkness. If your city has a safety app, do install it in your smartphones for you to reach the authorities immediately in case you spot any danger for yourself or others. If that is not there, then keep emergency numbers handy, including that of the authorities, security provider and near and dear ones. Most importantly, keep your smartphones always charged. They will be your biggest help at the time of need.
4) Stay vigilant
Ensure that you are always vigilant and keep an eye for any possibility of crime in your locality. Understand the position of every object on the floor at your home to ensure that you can move around easily around the house even in the dark. Also, keep all the important objects easily accessible. For example, keep your car keys at an accessible area to escape in the car in case of any crime. Most importantly, keep all the main doors locked all the time at the time of load shedding. Try not to entertain any unknown visitors during this time.
Following all the above tips, diligently, can keep you and your loved ones safe at the time of load shedding.