What to do in a blackout

Coping Without Electricity

Interruptions to your electricity supply can seriously hamper your lifestyle. You will need to think of some alternative ways to look after yourself safely during electricity supply disruption in your area. The following are suggestions you may find useful, alternatively you may consider going to stay with family or friends until the power has been restored. Keeping Warm

  • Multiple layers of clothing will trap body heat more efficiently than one bulky layer

  • Wear a hat as the body loses heat through the scalp

  • Close doors, windows and blinds to maintain heat

  • Use a wood heater if you have one, but ensure that it is not left unattended and is extinguished before going to bed.

Preparing Food

  • Cook foods outside on the barbecue

  • Never use a barbeque inside a home, tent or caravan

  • Use foods that don't require cooking, such as vegetables, tinned meats, bread and breakfast cereals.

Washing Safely

  • Heat water outside on the barbecue. Never use a barbeque inside a home, tent or caravan

  • Take special care when heating water in an unfamiliar way. Add some cool water to prevent burns

  • If you need to carry containers of hot or boiling water, don't overfill them and make sure you insulate the handles to prevent scalds from steam. Keep children away when carrying boiling water

  • Before bathing, check the temperature of the water. Don't attempt to top up with hot or boiling water when someone is already sitting in the bath.


  • Torches are much safer sources of light than candles. Make sure you have a good stock of batteries

  • If you must use candles, make sure they are on a secure base, do not leave them unattended or in places where they can fall or set alight flammable items. Keep them away from draughts and children

  • Be aware of fire hazards - keep candles away from curtains and other flammable objects

  • Extinguish all candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

Helping Your Neighbours Check on your neighbours to see if they need assistance, particularly if they are:

  • Older people living at home by themselves

  • People with physical or sensory disabilities

  • People with a chronic illness

  • Single parents with young children.

General Suggestions

  • Switch off all electrical appliances, especially those that have heating elements

  • Unplug "surge-sensitive' equipment, such as computers

  • Keep one light switch turned on so you know when the power returns

  • Turn on a battery operated radio and listen to a local radio station for information.

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