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What Causes Blackouts and Power Outages?

Nov 27, 2022 | Electrical Tips

What causes blackouts and power outages? There are many different causes. They can vary anywhere from electrical issues and component failures to storms and animals. But no matter what the reason, it can be inconvenient.  

What Causes Blackouts and Power Outages?

What Causes Blackouts?

Below are the main causes of power outages:

  • Electrical Storms
  • Natural Disasters
  • Fires
  • Fallen Trees or Tree Limbs
  • Vehicle Accidents
  • Spikes in Electricity
  • Damage by Animals
  • Construction Mishaps
  • High Level of Demand
  • Fallen Power Lines
  • Broken Power Poles
  • Failed Components

What Causes Power Outages?

Power outages occur when there has been an interruption in the supply of electricity. Power outages often refer to small-scale outages. While blackouts refer to large-scale outages. But they are both relatively the same thing. They are power failures.

Outages can happen at any time. They can last for a short period of time, or you can be without electricity for days, weeks, and even months. The length depends on how quickly the situation can be rectified.

So, let us look at what causes blackouts:

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can cause widespread blackouts. Severe weather such as tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods, etc. can cause extreme damage that can take a long time to clean up.


Fires are scary and they can happen anywhere. There could be a house fire that has damaged the electric supply or a wildfire that has taken out a large area of the grid.

Fallen Trees and Limbs

Trees are a necessity. They provide us with oxygen and give animals and insects homes. But trees that are too close to power lines can cause damage. A limb can break off and hit the lines, or a whole tree can fall over and take out the power.

Vehicle Accidents

Power poles can be easily damaged if they are hit during a vehicle accident. Even if the power is not interrupted then, the power must be turned off when the damaged pole is replaced.

Spikes in Electricity

Electrical spikes can cause power outages. These outages can last as little as a few seconds. But if the spike damages a component, the electricity can be out for a longer period of time.

Electrical Storms

Lighting is dangerous. It is an electrical discharge that can cause a lot of damage. If it hits your home or power lines, it can take out the electricity. The extreme surge can blow transformers and damage electronic devices.

Here are some indoor and outdoor safety tips to keep you and your family safe during an electrical storm

What to Do When There is a Blackout or Power Outage?

Damage by Animals

Power outages can occur when an animal comes in contact with the power lines. Animals have also been known to chew through lines.

Construction Mishaps

During construction, lines can be accidentally damaged. Most of the time these lines are hit during underground excavation.

High Level of Demand

If there is an unusually high level of demand, this can put stress on the system, leading to failure. This can happen in large-scale situations, or it can happen at your home.

If you install a new air conditioner or new appliances, your system may not be able to handle the electrical demands.

Fallen Power Lines

Power lines can be damaged and fall. There are a number of factors that can lead to downed lines.

Broken Power Poles

Power poles can break. This often happens when there is an accident. However, they can experience other damage and fail. This is why it is important that you inspect your power poles and look for damage.

If there is any damage to the poles on your property, call your local level 2 electrician in Sydney.

Failed Components

As with all electrical devices, components can fail.

  • Tripping Circuit Breakers
  • Dimming Lights
  • Flickering Lights
  • Outlets are Warm
  • Warm Spots on the Wall
  • Buzzing Sounds
  • Crackling Sounds
  • Burns on Switches or Powerpoints
  • Smoke
  • Damaged Appliances
  • Frayed Wires

What to Do When There is a Blackout or Power Outage?

If your power is out, remain calm. Check with your neighbours to see if their power is out too. If it is, there is a local power outage.

Once you have determined if the power outage is just at your home or is widespread, call your electricity retailer. Then call a level 2 electrician to perform an inspection to determine what caused the outage.

Now You Know What Causes Blackouts and Power Outages

Never try to handle any electrical jobs yourself. Electricity is dangerous. If you need a level 2 electrician in Sydney, call Dave Fenech Electrical Services Pty Ltd to learn more about what causes blackouts and power outages.

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