Power cuts

Taking steps now before a power cut happens can ensure you are as safe as possible

During a power cut

During a power cut, our firefighters can be called to fires started by candles or portable heaters.

The guidance on this page can help keep you safe during a power cut. Always try to:

  1. keep torches and batteries in an easy to find place
  2. think about getting wind-up torches
  3. turn off all electrical equipment, except a light or a radio
  4. if you suspect there is a gas leak, turn off all appliances and the main cylinder valve, open all doors and windows and do not smoke


Never use any cooking items designed for outdoor usage like barbecues. These devices can produce poisonous carbon monoxide.

If you are using a camping stove outdoors, never change gas cartridges indoors or near ignition sources.

Lighting your home

During a power cut use battery-operated lights or torches as an alternative light source. If you must use candles, make sure you:

  • make sure lit candles are kept in candle holders
  • do not use candles as a light source when moving from room to room
  • keep candles well away from anything that could catch fire
  • never leave a lit candle alone
  • only light candles in a room you are using and if going out, or going to sleep, make sure all candles are extinguished
  • only put candles on a heat resistant surface or holders

Heating your home

Following the guidance below can help you safely heat your home during a power cut:

  • keep heaters away from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes
  • switch off portable heaters when you go out, are not in the room, or go to bed
  • if possible, secure portable heaters in a stable position
  • carbon monoxide detectors should be used in all rooms with gas or paraffin heaters
  • never use portable gas cylinder heaters in high rise flats
  • always change gas cylinders in the open air
  • never move a bottled gas or oil heater when it is lit

Gas and paraffin lamps

Make sure any gas or paraffin lamp is used in a well-ventilated area and is not used close to curtains or fabrics. Try to use a low wattage bulb and never cover your gas or paraffin lamp with fabric.


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