Recently we have experienced some losses of the electricity supply to the village.
It seems appropriate to list some basic precautionary measures that households can take to minimise the chances of damage and/or injury during these episodes of darkness.
Torches: Have a torch, with full battery, in at least the following three places:
Beside your usual seat; Beside your bed; In the kitchen.
Check frequently that they have not been moved and that the batteries are still working.
Candles: Keep a supply of candles and matches somewhere you can reach in the dark (or by the light of one of the aforementioned torches).
Candles should always be placed on a plate or dish, out of a draught and never on a combustible surface.
Electrical appliances: Although many appliances switch themselves off in the event of power failure, special attention should be paid to the following:
Electric heaters, cookers and televisions. When the electricity goes off these appliances must be switched off at their socket. (The power may not be restored for several hours, and you may be fast asleep by the time the electric heater comes back on again and sets the house alight.)
Telephones: Modern cordless telephones will, as a rule, not function if there is no power. Households should, therefore, have a telephone that can be plugged into the BT socket in the event of a power cut. It will still work as the power for this type of telephone comes down the telephone line.
I realise that most of these points are common sense, but use them as a check-list so that, next time our power fails, you will be fully prepared.
PS And whilst on the subject of home safety – go and check the battery in your smoke-alarm, NOW!
Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator
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