1.The first thing you need to establish is, have they lost all power or just some, so the questioning is very important

The next thing to establish is, when it occurred. This question can often help you resolve things over the phone very quickly.

2. For example if they responded “oh we just popped the kettle on to have a cuppa and walked away and then noticed the TV wasn’t working”

3. This would give a good clue that the kettle may be faulty and that they should unplug that then locate the fuse box / meter box, distribution board, circuit breaker board, whatever they like to call it.

4. Ask are the lights working? Is the stove working? Are all the power points not working or just some?

5. Now you have established whether it is localised to one specific circuit or the whole unit

6. If it is the whole unit something may have tripped at a main distribution board or there may be a problem in the area network which would be confirmed if neighbours were also experience a loss. If it is an area problem phone Energex on 13 62 62. In an emergency, such as fallen powerlines or electric shocks, call 13 19 62.

7. If not and it has been localised to just the lights or power points or stove, ask them to turn all the switches off associated with that particular circuit. Eg, light switches off if lights, controllers for hot plates and or oven if cooking facility, switch off AND UNPLUG all appliances if a power point circuit.

8. Then try and reset the circuit breaker or safety switch. If they have the old porcelain rewire able fuses rather than the automatic circuit breaker switches, I would not recommend untrained people tamper with these, due to the inherent electrical risk (electrocution) and or flash burns, removing or refitting these devices poses.

9. If they manage to successfully reset the tripped protective device, then ask them to go around and reverse what they did by switching things back on and or plugging things back in BUT ONE AT A TIME. Do not have them have more than one person running around doing this. We are trying to identify the source of the problem so if the circuit trips again just as they switch something back on they will have found the source of the problem and will be able to isolate that and restore the electricity again.

10. If it was an appliance then they can decide on whether they wish to try and get it repaired or replaced. If it is a cooking facility or some other wired in equipment then obviously that’s when we’ll need to get involved.

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