Safety advice in the event of a power disruption

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service understand the problems that interruption to power supplies within the home may cause. However, we want to make sure that our communities are as safe as possible during times of disruption which may be caused by the severe weather conditions at the moment.

In the event of a power cut we urge people to:

  • Turn off electrical appliances at the socket. This is particularly important for heating or cooking appliances as your power could return at any time and potentially cause a safety hazard if you are absent, asleep or unaware;
  • Keep one light switched on so that you know when electricity has returned;
  • Check on any vulnerable neighbours and relatives to make sure they are comfortable and well;
  • If you have access to an alternative source of heating, try to keep one room warm and stay in it. If you do not have an alternative source of heat, wrap up warm and have a blanket at hand;
  • Use battery-powered lamps or torches if possible instead of candles as they are safer;
  • Have a battery-powered radio tuned into the local radio station for updates.

We would advise that people do not use candles, however if this is unavoidable the following guidance should be followed:

  • Never leave a candle unattended
  • Place all candles and tea lights on a heat resistant surface in a proper holder out of reach from children and pets
  • Keep out of draughts and away from materials such as curtains, fabrics and furniture
  • Make sure there is at least 1metre (3 feet) between the candle and any surface above it
  • Put out candles before leaving a room or going to bed
  • Use a snuffer or spoon to put them out – blowing them can send sparks and hot wax flying
  • double-check that they are completely out and not still smouldering

Those affected by power cuts should contact the Northern Power Grid helpline on 0800 66 88 77 (Northeast customers). Further information and advice can be accessed from their website at: http://www.northernpowergrid.com/page/powercuts/index.cfm