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What Causes Power Outages & Blackouts?

Power outages and blackouts can occur from many different sources, ranging from natural disasters to electrical system issues. Fallen power lines, high winds, electricity supply network errors and animals are some of the many reasons why power is cut off from buildings. An electrician or the electricity network provider will need to be contacted for them to resolve the issue. Here at The Local Electrician, our Emergency Electrician team is here to help with emergency power outage situations. 

The main causes of power outages and blackouts are:

  • Weather and natural disasters, such as bushfires and storms
  • Electrical spikes
  • Fallen power lines and poles
  • Vehicles 
  • Animals
  • High power demand
  • Building and excavation digging damage
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What are Power Outages and Blackouts and How Long Do They Last?

Power outages and blackouts are when a certain area or building has lost power for a short or long period of time. They often occur randomly but at times they may be on purpose, such as scheduled maintenance on power lines. The power may go out for a few seconds or minutes but most serious blackouts occur across numerous days, weeks or months.

What are the Main Causes of Power Outages and Blackouts?

The main causes of power outages and blackouts are described below:

Weather and Natural Disasters

The weather and natural disasters are common reasons why the power has been disconnected and not working in buildings. Heavy rain, storms, lightning strikes, bushfires, earthquakes and other events can disrupt electrical systems. When bushfires occur the power to homes will be disconnected to ensure everyone is safe. When strong winds and heavy rain occur this can lead to power lines, power poles and electricity systems being damaged. Electricity infrastructure can also become damaged when lightning storms and other events occur leading to the power outage. 

Electrical Spikes

When the electrical voltage of a system rises unexpectedly then this can lead to a power outage. The outage may only be for a few seconds or minutes but sometimes the spike may be so large that it ruins the electrical components of a system. Tripped circuit breakers, lightning strikes or short circuits are the main causes of electrical spikes. 

Fallen Power Lines and Poles

A noticeable cause of power outages and blackouts is when power poles and lines fall over. When they fall over this most times lead to the systems being damaged which then causes power to not flow to a home. A Level 2 Electrician will need to be contacted to resolve the power pole issues along with the electricity network provider. Fallen power lines and poles should be stayed away from as they still have live electricity powered to them and if a person makes contact with them then it may be life threatening. 


When cars and other vehicles make contact with power poles during an accident then this can cause a power outage and blackout. The possibility of the vehicle pushing the power pole over or when they make contact the cables touch and become damaged is high. 


Animals can sometimes cause a power outage and blackout when they make contact with wires or damage them. Animals might chew or break the cables or make contact with parts of the power supply system and ruin it. When an animal touches these systems then they can also become hurt while disrupting the power supply system.

High Power Demand

When people in an area are using power more intensively and often this can stress the electrical supply system. This is also the case when larger and new appliances are operating in a building with old wiring systems. This high demand of power can burn the electrical cables, transformers and other parts of the system causing a power outage until the issues are repaired. 

Building and Excavation Digging Damage

When a place is being built or renovated then at times the electrical supply to the site might be damaged. Wires and cables may be cut or damaged, such as when digging and excavating and accidentally hitting an underground power system.  It is important that the build or project is completed safely and planning is in place to prevent electrical problems.

What To Do During Power Outages and Blackouts?

Remaining calm, being patient, staying safe and seeking help are the major steps in order for blackouts and power outages to be dealt with properly. Ask neighbours if their power is off, if so the problem is with the area. Contact the electricity retailer and alert them that the power is off. When it is just one building or home then an electrician should be contacted to inspect the electrical systems and see what has caused the power outage.

Reliable Emergency Electricians Helping Restore Power

The Local Electrician is here with fully qualified electricians to help restore power outages and blackouts. Our team are experts at resolving any problems that have caused power to be lost in a home or building. We ensure to operate safely when restoring power and always complete the job swiftly.

Our 24 hour electrical services are here for all of Sydney to help with power outages, including for South Western Sydney and Hills District.


For professional electricians to help with power outages and blackouts – rely on The Local Electrician!

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Our skilled electricians are qualified to carry out any electrical repair or installation within Sydney. We strive to deliver absolute customer satisfaction by offering electrical services that are affordable, safe and long lasting.

Hamish Baker