Why is my power out? A guide to handling power outages


Few things are as frustrating as a sudden power outage – especially if you're in the middle of cooking dinner, watching TV, or working on an important project. Don’t worry, though! There may be a few things you can do to get the lights back on quickly and safely.

One important thing to mention upfront; if you think a wire or circuit may be live, or if you feel unsure or unconfident when facing electrical issues, contact a professional. Safety first, always.

Get an emergency electrician

Blown fuses, tripped safety switch or faulty circuit breakers

These are some of the most common causes of power outages. Circuit breakers are designed to trip if there's an overload or short circuit, cutting off power to the affected area to prevent sudden damage or an escalation, like an electrical fire.

If this has happened, the power will go out in a specific area of your home, the switchboard will need to be reset. It’s usually pretty easy to fix – first, unplug affected appliances, then turn the affected “off” switch back on. Voila!

If the circuit breaker keeps tripping, or a fuse has blown entirely, you may require an electrician's help.

Overloaded power boards

In the modern home where appliances are a-plenty, this one is also pretty common. We often need more power outlets than are available and turn to power boards to fill the gaps.

The issue is that if you have too many appliances plugged into one power board, the circuit can overload and trip, causing the power to go out. To avoid this, use power boards with care - don't overload them! You may also want to consider if using power boards with inbuilt safety switches may work for your home setup.

Neighbourhood outage

This one’s less self-solvable. If the power is out in your entire neighbourhood, it's probably due to a problem with the local supply. Maybe something has impacted a nearby power pole or power line, or your electricity provider may be experiencing other issues.

In this case, there's not much you can do except wait for the utility company to fix the problem. Even though it can get boring when there’s no power at home, be patient and don't try to fix the issue yourself - this can be super dangerous.

What to do during a neighbourhood power outage

If there's a neighbourhood-wide power outage, the best thing you can do is to switch off your appliances to prevent any power surges when the power comes back on. But keeping one light on can help you easily know when the power is back.

Keep your fridge and freezer doors closed to keep food from spoiling. You can also use candles or torches to provide temporary lighting. And remember – if a power outage has left you with spoiled food and unusable medication, AAMI has your back. If you have AAMI Contents Insurance, we’ll pay up to $400 for any one incident, and if you only make a claim for this, no excess will apply.

AAMI Home Assist emergency electricians can help

If something’s suddenly gone wrong with your electricity at home that you didn’t foresee and requires the urgent attention of an electrician, call in an expert with AAMI Home Assist. AAMI Home Assist is an optional cover you pay extra for, that provides emergency electricians (among other trades!). You can call us 24/7 if you have a home emergency1.

AAMI Home Assist can be added to AAMI Home and Contents and Building Only Insurance for an additional premium, and includes the following features:

  • No excess payable for a callout.
  • Three Emergency callouts per policy period to the insured address (one per emergency2).
  • Repair parts and materials, up to $503.
  • Up to two hours of help per callout.
  • A trusted network of tradies.

For assistance in a home emergency in urgent need of an expert’s attention, call 13 22 44.

Read the PDS and AAMI Home Assist Terms and Conditions for more detail, including limits, conditions and exclusions. Some geographical limitations apply. AAMI Home Assist is only available 24 hours after adding the option to a new or existing policy.

Get an AAMI Home Assist quote

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Assistance will be provided as quickly as possible, but during certain hours there may be limited availability. The response time will depend on a variety of factors including severity, location of your insured address and the demand for AAMI Home Assist at that time.

If it’s determined that two tradespersons are required to attend to your single home emergency, then two emergency callouts will be deducted from your entitlement.

Where our tradesperson carries out repairs and the provision or replacement of that component or item which needs repair is covered by the Home Assist Terms.

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as AAMI. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available.

Information about power outages is general in nature. Subject to any rights you may have under any law (including the Australian Consumer Law), we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information – please make your own enquiries.