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Staying safe during a power cut or power outage

  • Take extra care during power cuts
  • Keep torches and batteries where you can find them easily
  • Turn off electrical equipment, except a light or a radio, so you know when power is restored.

Cooking during a power outage

  • Never used cooking equipment designed for outside use, indoors. Don’t use camping stoves, portable barbeques, lit charcoal or a generator in an enclosed space as they are designed for outdoor use only. These devices need adequate ventilation and can produce poisonous carbon monoxide.
  • If you are using a camping stove outdoors, take extra care and never change camping gas cartridges indoors or near ignition sources.


  • Don’t use a camping heater indoors as poisonous carbon monoxide can be produced and be fatal.
  • Only use gas or paraffin heaters in well-ventilated areas.
  • Keep heaters away from curtains and furniture, and other flammable items, and never use them for drying clothes.
  • Switch off and unplug portable heaters when you go out, are not in the same room, or when you go to bed.
  • Carbon Monoxide detectors should be used in all rooms containing gas or paraffin heaters.
  • Never use portable gas cylinder heaters in high rise flats
  • Always change gas cylinders in the open air. Never change gas cylinders in an enclosed space.
  • Never move a bottled gas or oil heater when it is lit.


  • During a power cut use battery-operated lights or torches as an alternative light source. Other options include a wind-up torch, glow sticks or a shake light. If you use candles, make sure you follow these safety guidelines:
  • Never leave candles unattended or go to sleep while they are lit
  • Leave plenty of space above and around the candle and its holder
  • Place candles in a draught-free area away from curtains, furniture and other flammable surfaces
  • Choose a suitable site for your candles that is flat and stable
  • Always use a proper candle-holder and fit the candle in firmly
  • Always use a heat-resistant surface to place the candle holder on - e.g. a ceramic plate, especially for night-light candles
  • Never place candles directly on televisions or other polished surfaces
  • Keep candles out of reach of children and pets
  • Never attempt to move a candle once it is lit
  • Always use a candle-snuffer, or an unturned metal spoon to extinguish the candle and allow cooling before moving it

If you use a gas or paraffin lamp make sure it is working properly and used in a well-ventilated area.

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