Protecting your electrical appliances
At Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE), one of our main priorities is to ensure that you have an uninterrupted supply of electricity. Electricity networks often have power cuts and voltage fluctuations which are outside of our control. Our network is designed to keep voltage within statutory limits. However, it is not technically feasible to design and build a network that will not be subject to some level of power cuts and voltage fluctuations.
We cannot take responsibility for damage to appliances or loss of freezer contents. Therefore you should ensure that your house insurance covers all electrical appliances.
We work continually to reduce disruptions to electricity supplies and we quickly restore power when problems occur. We cannot control power cuts such as those caused by severe weather. We implement measures to maintain power quality and improve our network.
Damage to electrical appliances
Interruption to electricity supply can be caused by:
Storm damage to overhead lines and electricity equipment
Damage caused by contractors or others during excavation work
Cars, vans, lorries or farm machinery hitting cables and poles
Animals and birds coming into contact with lines
Voltage fluctuations generated by your own or another customer’s appliances for example welding gear
Trees in contact with lines
What you can do
Safe and effective use of electricity also depends on the quality of your household electrical installation including wiring. There are steps you can take to protect your electrical appliances:
Purchase electrical equipment that comply with the British Standards Institution
Give attention to where the items are stored and how they are ventilated
Unplug electrical items when you experience an interruption to your electricity supply
Fit surge protection devices to sensitive appliances such as computers and televisions. These can be purchased from your local DIY store or electrical retailer.
Fit a UPS device
In addition for businesses, the fitting of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or a similar device can protect computers, fax machines and telecommunications equipment from damage by over-voltage or under-voltage. These protection devices should meet the National Standards set by the British Standards Institution. Three-phase equipment can be fitted with protection that disconnects all phases of supply in the event of low voltage or loss of power. Make sure your insurance policy is up to date and that it covers damage to electrical appliances.
Seek professional advice
Installations, appliances, fuse boards and wiring should comply with BS 7671 'Requirements for Electrical Installation Contracting'. Any alterations should be made by an electrical contractor who is a member of a recognised regulatory body.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.