Load shedding remains a sensitive topic for many obvious reasons, but also because it’s attached to grudge purchases. Protecting your household contents with insurance alone doesn’t cut it anymore – you also need protection from the intermittent electricity supply.
The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) has advised consumers to do whatever they can to prevent or reduce any form of interruption to their businesses or property. This direction was prompted by the recent number of insurance claims due to ongoing load shedding.
It no longer matters whether it’s stage 4 or stage 6 as constant power surges will eventually damage electronic goods over time – if they don’t outright cause permanent damage instantly. So here are a couple of ways you can ‘load shedding proof’ your home.
Buy surge protection plugs
Ellies notably offers a repair or replace warranty of up to R30,000 on its surge protectors, which are characterised by a thick red plug. So whether you need extension cables, multi-plugs, 2-pin plugs, or plugs with USB sockets, its warranty stands. Similarly, its Fridge Safe and TV Safe plugs come with a R20,000 cover. It’s only valid for products that were damaged due to a surge while plugged in and won’t cover damage from a lightning strike, for example.
Backup battery packs
Due to the frequency of load shedding, you might at times not have enough time to get your battery packs recharged before the next outage. Here you have one of two options: You can buy multiple smaller power banks for your mobile devices or buy a few larger capacity ones so that when you do charge it, it lasts several uses. I recommend going for a larger capacity battery pack, such as a 10 000mAh or 20 000mAh option, but bear in mind it will be slightly heavier for less frequent charging. While they are useful around the house, battery packs also come in handy when you’re travelling. Check out our best budget power banks article from earlier this year.
Rechargeable light bulbs
You don’t have to sit in the dark or light candles every time the power goes off and you certainly don’t have to fork out for smart light bulbs either. Rather look at buying rechargeable light LED bulbs. South African company Power4Less has a range of load shedding proof “LSP” light bulbs at Makro. They start at R79 for a 5W LED bulb (to be used indoors), and come in different fixtures – B22, E27, GU10. The range also includes outdoor floodlights at R699 for 10W and R1099 for the 30W floodlight.
A UPS for your router
If you’re working remotely, you shouldn’t be buying data bundles and using your smartphone to hotspot. Prepaid data is expensive, and in the long run, the overheating will damage your smartphone. Rather get a dedicated UPS for your router. Arion Power has a mini UPS called the Wibox – a plug-and-play solution designed to keep your fibre or router running during power outages. It’s easy to install, requires no technical knowledge and provides you with up to six hours of backup. It’s compatible with fibre, LTE and ADSL connections.
Lastly, make sure you run frequent backups to the cloud to avoid losing anything unexpectedly. There are many service providers to choose from such as Google Cloud, iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox to name a few. We wrote more about backups here.
Stay safe, stay protected.
Technology is an ever increasing part of our lives and let’s be honest, many of us like gadgets. There is also an abundance of new online services and apps taking over the traditional services we use. Nafisa Akabor has been covering everything tech for well over a decade and she’ll be writing on how we can do tech within a budget and reviewing some of the new online services. Cache This is published on the last Tuesday of every month.