Who turned the lights out?

What do a crow, a waste collection truck and ‘malicious digging’ have in common?  Well according to Eaton’s 2017 Blackout Tracker Annual Report, they all caused Blackouts!

A waste collection truck struck overhead power lines, causing the load of compressed cardboard in the truck to ignite.  A crow collided with TasNetworks infrastructure taking out 1390 houses, and a member of the public who was digging illegally impacted power supply to 2221 customers.


More commonly though, severe weather conditions, falling trees, faulty equipment, human error and vehicle accidents caused power outages throughout 2017.  Overall, the number of power outages increased by 19% in 2017, however the number of people impacted decreased.

Fallen Trees

The state with the most blackouts last year was Queensland, mainly due to the damage caused by Cyclone Debbie.

We have all come to rely on our power supply, and it is easy to take it for granted, however the reality is, there will always be power outages, especially as we head into the winter months. So if you do experience a power outage to your business premises or home, here are a few tips:

  • Try to locate the issue, determine if the outage is just impacting your property or other properties in the area. You can do this by checking your safety switches or fuses, and checking if adjoining properties are also impacted
  • If a safety switch or fuse has blown it could be an issue with an appliance or the electrical wiring
  • Unplug all appliances, reset the safety switch or fuse and if they hold, it is probably one of the appliances causing the problem. Plug each appliance in and turn it on one at a time, if the safety switch or fuse trips after connecting a particular appliance you have found your faulty appliance
  • The most common faulty appliances are heaters, toasters, kettles, fridges, irons and range hoods
  • If it is a broader power outage make sure you turn off your appliances, especially heaters and cooking appliances otherwise these could become a hazard when power is restored
  • Be prepared, have some candles and a torch ready, don’t forget most of us have a torch in our pocket these days, your mobile phone

If you experience a power outage and are not comfortable determining the cause, or if you would like to consider your power supply backup options, contact ComSpark for some friendly advice.