During a power cut

What to do during a power cut:

  • use torches rather than candles;
  • if using candles 
    • place them on appropriate stands that are inflammable/fireproof/non-combustible such as candle sticks or candle holders;
    • keep them out of the reach of children;
    • never leave them unattended;
    • extinguish them before leaving a room and going to sleep;
  • when using wood-fired, coal, gas or oil heating, keep the room ventilated to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning;
  • only open fridge or freezer doors when absolutely necessary (by keeping the doors closed a full freezer can keep food frozen for between 24 and 36 hours);
  • avoid making phone calls unless absolutely necessary;
  • close doors, windows and curtains in order to retain heat in your home or maintain the internal temperature;
  • if the water supply is still functioning make sure you set aside water provisions. Remember to be responsible and ration any water;
  • unless advised to do otherwise by the authorities, leave a trickle of water running and flush the toilets from time to time to prevent the pipes from freezing;
  • never use heating or lighting equipment or wood-burning stoves inside your home that were designed for outside use or camping (charcoal or propane barbecues, camping stoves or propane wood-burning stoves) as they produce carbon monoxide, a colourless and odourless gas which can cause health problems and even death;
    • equip the house with battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors;
  • limit your trips outside, in particular car journeys as traffic lights may not be functioning;
  • unplug all sensitive domestic electronic devices such as televisions, computers, microwaves, fridges and freezers;
    • turn the boiler thermostat down to minimum;
    • in order to avoid damage caused by an electricity surge when the power is switched back on.
  • Listen to a battery-operated, wind-up or car radio in order to keep up to date with the authorities' recommendations.
  • Keep a switch in the on position so you know when the power is reconnected.

In the event of danger or an emergency, call 112.

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