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Our advice for preparing for a power cut

Based in York, John Wright Electrical and Mechanical Services Ltd provide electrical and mechanical works to hospitals, schools and offices around the country. We've recently experienced storm Ciara and storm Dennis back-to-back, with disastrous effects on properties and buildings throughout the UK. With homes flooded, trees falling and fences blowing away, it's no surprise that the storms have cut power to over 500,000 people so far!

Millions of people rely on electricity to power their properties, schools and hospitals each day, so when a power cut hits it can be disastrous. In the office, a power cut can bring business to a halt from anywhere between a couple of minutes to a couple of days, without the ability to answer the phone, send that urgent email or even switch on the lights.

With the recent storms causing such havoc, we thought we'd compile a list of things to do (and prepare for) in the event of a power cut:

  1. Make sure you have a clear plan of what to do if there's a power cut, and ensure staff know what to do to prevent panic. This could include unplugging equipment and machinery and evacuating the building in an emergency.

  2. Know where the electric meter is in your building. If you don't know, it's important to find out before a power cut.

  3. Ensure that you have a working torch on hand, with fresh batteries. It's surprising how dark it gets without lighting and the darkness can become a real tripping hazard. If you don't own a torch, buy a couple so you're prepared.

  4. Have emergency telephone numbers handy, or save them to your mobile phone. Remember that phones connected to the mains won't work if the power cuts out, but you could always charge your mobile phone in the car.

  5. Keep the office fridge-freezer door closed to keep the cold air inside. Food can stay cold for quite some time after the power has gone, but keeping the door closed will stop warm air from getting in. Harmful bacteria can multiply in warmer temperatures, so it's important to dispose of any food that has been left without proper refrigeration. 

  6. Turn off and disconnect equipment in the building, including machinery, computers and phones. During an outage, surges can damage equipment and create a fire risk.
Make sure that power has been fully restored to your business premises before continuing with work as normal. Test the power first by flicking the light switch – if the light comes on, wait at least 10-15 minutes before you turn other equipment on.

From everyone at John Wright Electrical and Mechanical Ltd, we hope that you stay safeduring the storms and know what to do should a power cut strike! 
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