Last week we blogged about everything you need to know about meter readings. And continuing Look After My Bills’s trend of helpful blog posts, here’s the latest entry, What to do in a power cut.
It’s happened to us hasn’t it? You’ve been watching a very exciting TV programme and thunk the power goes out. But what do you do next?
First, check if it’s not just your power cut. Anyone else on your street?
It sounds obvious, but always make sure it’s not just your power that’s gone out. Double check your fuse box to make sure that none of the switches have tripped, it might be as simple as that.
If not, if you’ve got neighbours check if their power is out too.
Finally, have a quick look at any recent post. Your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO, the company responsible for maintain the wires in your area) may have sent a letter telling you about a scheduled power cut, it may be addressed to “the occupier or owner”. So double check this too.
Who do I call? Power cut busters?
This is the easy part. You call your local DNO to tell them you’ve had a power cut, depending where you live this could be one of six different companies! But luckily they’ve all clubbed together and agreed one phone number, which will put you through to the right company for your area.
Just call 105, from most landline or mobile phone to report a power cut. If you see any damaged overhead wires this is the number you should call too.
Don’t call your electricity supplier, they won’t be able to do anything and will just direct you to the 105 number or another number for your local DNO.
You can find more information here, including instructions on how to find out who your DNO is: https://www.powercut105.com/
What else should I do?
- Turn off any electrical items you had on during the power cut that shouldn’t be left unattended when the power back comes on (e.g. electric hob, electric oven, iron etc.)
- Leave a light switch on, that way you’ll quickly notice once the power has been restored.
- It always worth having a light source to hand, so keep a torch (and batteries) in a place you can easily get to if the power goes out. You can use candles, but torches are easier and safer!
- A portable radio with some spare batteries will mean you can listen to the local news for updates if the power cut covers a large area.
- Have some food that doesn’t need electricity to prepare. If you’ve got a gas hob or oven, they should still work, but you may need to light them yourself with a match. It may also be worth having a little camping stove if you’ve got an electric hob or oven and want something hot.
- Keep any mobile phone or laptop charged, so you can always get hold of someone if you need. Or, if you don’t have either, but have a landline, make sure you have one landline phone that doesn’t need electricity to function (lots of cordless ones won’t work in a power cut). Again, you could keep this in a drawer until you need it.
- And, it goes without saying, but if it’s very cold, keep warm!