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Power or water loss

Failures in power and water supplies are rare, and are often linked to severe weather events. These simple steps will help you to stay safe and as comfortable as possible throughout any disruption.

electricity failure

Be prepared

  • Make sure your home is well insulated. It could stay warm for 12 hours or more in a power cut. 
  • Keep at least one standard landline phone - cordless phones won’t work. 
  • Don’t open fridges any longer than necessary. They should stay cold for hours. 
  • Register with your utility provider if you think you’re vulnerable.

If you suffer a power cut

Check if your neighbours have lost services too. If others are affected it makes a difference to what you should do. 
  • If it’s a general power cut, contact your supplier to report the fault and ask for information. 
  • If your neighbours still have electricity and only you have lost power then: 
    • If you have a pre-pay meter, check you still have credit. 
    • Check your trip switch (a circuit breaker fuse system - it will be near your electricity meter). If the trip switch is still on, call your supplier’s emergency line for your area.
    • If the trip switch is off, switch it back on. 
    • If it switches back off, one appliance may be faulty. Unplug them all and reset the trip. 
    • If only part of your supply has failed and the trip won’t reset, there may be a fault with your wiring, so contact a registered electrician. 
  • If you lose power for a prolonged period, take precautions to stay safe: be extra careful when using candles, naked flames and portable heating; never leave lit candles in unoccupied rooms or with unsupervised children or animals.

Gas failure

Be prepared

Always have a source of alternative heating available.

If your gas fails

If you smell gas inside or outside your home call the free 24-hour national gas emergency line 0800 111 999

Water failure

Be prepared

When safe drinking water is unavailable, it’s more than an inconvenience – it’s a health hazard. You can make things easier by being prepared. 

Make sure you have a bottled water supply. Everyone’s needs differ, but the Food Standards Agency advises that the average adult should take in 1.5 to 2 litres of water in a typical day. 

If you can’t get out to collect water make sure you have a friend or relative who can help you get some in an emergency.

If your water supply fails

If your whole area has lost its water, your supplier has to provide alternative sources. This could be bottled water, stand-pipes or tankers. Ring your supplier’s emergency line for information.
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