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Should I unplug my TV during a blackout or power cut?

HOUSEHOLDS are being warned of electricity blackouts this winter – but what should you do with your TV?

The National Grid is warning of power cuts at peak times – potentially in the evenings when it’s dark outside.

The National Grid is warning of power cuts at peak times

It said the number of people left without electricity would depend on how many gas power stations would be forced to shut down because there is not enough gas.

In order to prevent planned power cuts, households will be paid to turn down their heating and not use their washing machines at peak time to save the country as much energy as possible.

If the power cuts do go ahead, it will be the first time there has been controlled blackouts since the 1970s. 

Some appliances should be unplugged ahead of a blackout because a surge of electricity when the power comes back on could cause damage.

Should I unplug my TV during a power cut?

Televisions are considered to be sensitive appliances and should be kept unplugged during a power cut.

This is because they could surge and become damaged when the power returns.

UK Power Networks recommend that you should switch off equipment such as televisions, landline phones and internet routers when the power goes off.

This is to protect these devices from voltage variations when the power returns.

UK Power Networks also recommend using a surge protector to protect household equipment.

The gadgets can prevent electronic equipment from voltage spikes called transients.

We found a Belkin surge protector on sale at Amazon for £8.99 – but be sure to shop around as you may find a better deal.

You may also want to try DIY and electrical shops near you.

What other appliances should I unplug during a power cut? 

The list of appliances to be wary of include:

  • Iron
  • Hair straighteners
  • Oven
  • Electric hob

Households should be particularly wary of these items because they are a fire risk and they will come back on as soon as the power returns.

There are also sensitive appliances to keep unplugged – these could surge and become damaged when the power returns:

  • Computer
  • Laptop
  • Satellite box
  • Smart phone

There are 15 power networks in the UK, and if there is a looming shortage, the National Grid will notify households if they will be cut off temporarily.

How to prepare for a blackout

Before a power cut there are a few things you can do to make sure you are equipped to deal with the dark times.

You should make sure you have at least one torch in your house and spare batteries.

Try to avoid candles if you can because they are a fire risk.

External battery packs are also handy for charging your phone without relying on electricity.

You can pick up portable phone charger for £19.99 from Argos – just remember that if you order online, you may have to pay a delivery fee.

You could also pick up a similar charge for £16.99 from Amazon.

But make sure you shop around, because you may be able to find a better deal elsewhere.

Make sure the gadget is fully charged so that it is ready to use straight away.

This also goes for devices such as laptops and tablets.

It’s a good idea to write down and keep a list of important contacts just incase your mobile phone dies.

Having some blankets and thick clothes ready to keep everybody in your household warm is also a good idea.

Have a first aid kit handy too in case of an emergency.

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