How do I protect equipment in my French home?
A couple of years ago the summer storms in France were exceptional and parts of the Dordogne were without power for 50 hours! Winter storms are also damaging and, as always, those in rural areas bear the brunt, with their cabling more susceptible than areas where the lines run underground. What can you do to make sure your equipment is protected in the event of a storm?
Advice for both summer and winter storms is the same and applies also if you leave your property empty for extended periods.
The speed of repairs on lines will depend on the severity of the storm but you will want your equipment, TVs, phones and the like to be protected. It’s best to prepare, rather than fix after damage has occurred.
The best thing is to create a barrier between equipment you have connected to the mains and telephone line from the external power source.
You will have heard about surge protectors and may already use them. However, even the best surge protector is not guaranteed to protect from more powerful storms, so when storms are strong, it’s best to unplug.
This should include TVs connected to aerials or dishes. Similarly, it’s better to unplug equipment if you’re away for any length of time. Modems are never guaranteed after storm damage.
Bad storms can damage the local exchange or the line, so check with neighbours to see if they have lost their service.
In addition to letting your telecom firm know about issues, speak with your mairie as it can put pressure on Orange to prioritise repairs affecting your property.
Every year there are a few instances where a whole department is affected. This will result in a high prioritisation for repairs and these are often fixed quickly.
Question answered by Sarah Fletcher from the telephone and broadband provider, UK Telecom. See uktelecom.net for more information on their services in France. If you have a query on this topic send it to firstname.lastname@example.org