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  • How do I keep equipment safe during a power cut?

    At NIE Networks, one of our main priorities is to ensure that you have an uninterrupted supply of electricity. Electricity networks often have power cuts and voltage fluctuations which are outside of our control.

    Our network is designed to keep voltage within statutory limits. However, it is not technically feasible to design and build a network that will not be subject to some level of power cuts and voltage fluctuations.

    We work continually to reduce disruptions to electricity supplies and we quickly restore power when problems occur. We cannot control power cuts such as those caused by severe weather.  We implement measures to maintain power quality and improve our network.

    What you can do to protect your equipment?

    Safe and effective use of electricity also depends on the quality of your household electrical installation including wiring. There are steps you can take to protect your electrical appliances:

    • Purchase electrical equipment that comply with the British Standards Institution
    • Give attention to where the items are stored and how they are ventilated
    • Unplug electrical items when you experience an interruption to your electricity supply
    • Fit surge protection devices to sensitive appliances such as computers and televisions. These can be purchased from your local DIY store or electrical retailer.

    Fit a UPS device

    In addition for businesses, the fitting of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or a similar device can protect equipment such as computers and tablets, televisions, alarm systems, central heading time clocks and TV cable boxes from damage by over-voltage or under-voltage.

    These protection devices should meet the National Standards set by the British Standards Institution. Three-phase equipment can be fitted with protection that disconnects all phases of supply in the event of low voltage or loss of power. Make sure your insurance policy is up to date and that it covers damage to electrical appliances.

    Seek professional advice

    Installations, appliances, fuse boards and wiring should comply with BS 7671 'Requirements for Electrical Installation Contracting'. Any alterations should be made by an electrical contractor who is a member of a recognised regulatory body.

  • I have a power cut, what should I do?
    • Check your trip switch – this checks if it is a problem with the electrics in your property.
    • If possible – see if your neighbours are also without power or if the street lights are off.
    • Check for power cuts in your area. Powercheck provides real-time fault information map – is your power cut on it?
    • Report it online if you can't see the power cut in your area or message us on WhatsApp.

      Scan the QR code with your mobile phone to chat to us on WhatsApp now.

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    • Have your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) or your postcode and house number handy.
    • Keep safe: Never approach broken lines or damaged poles. Report a dangerous situation by calling us on 03457643643.
  • How do I keep food safe during a power cut?

    The most important thing to remember is: keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed!

    • A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed.
    • A full freezer will keep temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full). If your freezer is not full, group packages so they form an “igloo” to protect each other. Place them to one side or on a tray so that if they begin thawing, their juices won’t get on other foods.
    • If the power is going to be out for an extended period of time, buy block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible.

    More information is available from the Food Standards Agency.

  • If I've experienced a power cut, can I claim for freezer contents?

    We are unable to pay to cover freezer contents. You may wish to contact your home insurance provider.

    However, if your power was off for more than 24 hours you may be due for compensation. Read our guaranteed standards for more information.

    You can also read more about:

  • When does an exemption to our guaranteed standards apply?

    The legislation behind our guaranteed standards recognises exceptional events and allows us to apply an exemption, which means that no guaranteed standard payments would be due.

    We will apply an exemption on the basis of severe weather where the number of faults affecting the high voltage network exceeds 13 times the normal operations.

    Other instances when an exemption may apply include when we are unable to access a property or where the customers agrees to the electricity not being restored within the given timescales.

  • What's the difference between a planned and unplanned power cut?

    A planned power cut or interruption means that your electricity supply may be temporarily interrupted so that we can carry out essential maintenance on the network safely, make improvements and reduce the chance of unplanned power cuts. We will notify you about planned interruptions in advance. You should receive a postcard from NIE Networks that provides you with the times and dates of the planned work. If you have a query about a planned interruption please get in touch.

    If we need to cancel planned work we will try to notify you in advance and if this is not possible we will notify customers about cancellations on Twitter @NIElectricity.

    Often with an unplanned power cut the cause of the power cut is outside our control (for example, lightning may strike our electricity network) so we will not be able to give you warning. We will always try to restore your supply as soon as possible.

    You can monitor progress using our powercheck application or report a power cut online. If you have medical support equipment that relies on power, then we advise you to join our critical care register for updates.


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