Facing the risk of blackouts, your devices can be damaged by a sudden power outage. Dispatch summarizes for you which methods to use against the most threatened devices.
Power outages can occur in your home due to potential “gaps” in the power grid. If these usually only last a few hours, they can cause damage to your devices using electricity: here are some tips to avoid unpleasant surprises.
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Effects on electronic devices
Unexpected power outages can have negative effects on all electrical equipment in general. The goods most at risk are electronic equipment, such as televisions and internet boxes. If these devices are improperly shut down due to a power outage, system damage can occur, with repeated power outages rendering a device unusable.
Therefore, it is generally best to pre-emptively disconnect all your sensitive devices if a blackout is announced, such as game consoles, internet boxes, computers… Standby devices are also affected. This way you’ll avoid damaging your devices that were accidentally turned off due to the cut and you won’t risk a power surge when the power comes back on.
If the cut was not planned, you may have bad surprises. According to Total Energies, a washing machine running during an outage can be damaged by water in the tub. After cutting, restarting the ongoing program will normally allow the water still present in the appliance to evacuate.
Fridges and freezers
In the event of a power outage, your refrigerator and freezer are the most vulnerable appliances. The latter, deprived of electricity, will stop their cold production.
It is therefore important not to open the door of these appliances to keep the cold already present, the refrigerator can keep the products fresh for four to six hours. The freezer goes the extra mile and can stay cold for 24 hours if filled to the brim, 48 hours if only half full depending on TF1. If the cut is expected, you can put water and ice packs in your freezer to help lower the temperature.
Once the power has been restored, if the outage was short, you can eat your stored food without any problems. Beyond six hours without power, avoid dairy products that have already been opened, meat, fish, seafood and cooked vegetables.
If your freezer is above four degrees, it is best to throw away any food that is no longer showing frost, as well as fish, meat, seafood, dairy products and creams, as well as frozen foods.
Can insurance cover the damage?
There is insurance that may cover the damage, depending on the contract you have. According to Fanny Limare-Wolf, CFO of L’Olivier Assurance interviewed by our colleagues from BFM-TV, “generally, this is an option that should be removed with the electrical damage warranty, which covers the insured if electronic equipment less than 5 years old has suffered damage caused by electrical overvoltage or undervoltage.” You can check the terms and conditions of reimbursement in your insurance contract.
To prevent damage to your devices, you can also use a power inverter, a device that acts as a kind of backup battery. This battery takes over in the event of a power outage and gives you a few minutes to safely shut down and disconnect your devices without a faulty shutdown.