What to do in a power cut…

Just in general, make sure you know where a torch is in the house, keep it in an obvious place. Also, it’s essential you know where your switchboard is too.

If you’re reading this in the midst of a power cut, this is what you need to do now:

  1. Check to see whether the street lights are on outside? If they are, there is likely to be a problem inside your house. If they are not, then it’s something bigger affecting the whole road.
  2. Check to see whether your next-door neighbour has a power cut? Again, if it’s just you sitting in a blackout, then it’s probably something inside your home.
  3. Have all the appliances gone off too or just the lights? This is worth checking, because if some appliances haven’t gone off or some lights are off but some are on then it may be that something has tripped the switch. In this instance, you’ll need to head to your switchboard to see if any of the switches have tripped off – if so, flick them back on and power should resume.
  4. If you’re on a prepayment meter and you have run out of power totally, you may have run out of credit. Check and top up as soon as possible.

Once all the above have been checked, and you’ve worked out it is in fact a power cut…

5. You’ll need to contact the network distributor to let them know of the power cut.

If you don’t know who yours is, then dial 105 from a mobile or landline and the service will connect you to the distributor’s emergency number for your area (handy hey?!). If you think you have a gas emergency dial 0800 111999.

6. It also worth checking on the National Grid’s twitter page as they’ll have information on what to do if the power cut hits a big enough area.

7. Once you’ve informed the distributor and they’re aware of the problem, they will instruct you what to do next, if anything, otherwise just sit tight and wait for the power to return.

What to do in the meantime (in the darkness)

  • Find a torch, or safe source of light (candle, etc. could work)
  • Monitor how long the power is off for. Frozen food may need to be thrown away if the power to the freezer if off for long enough – click here for the dos and don’t with freezer hygiene
  • Stay away from any power lines outside that look broken/down, they may give you a shock if you come into contact with them
  • If your whole street/area is down, make sure you look out for elderly neighbours and ensure they are prepared for the power cut
  • If safe, turn off any appliances that don’t need to be on as there could be a sudden surge of power when the power comes back on, for example, irons, ovens, TV, etc.
For more ways to know how to run a household, and to be prepared, click here!

Info sourced from EDF