- how to assess the risks and potential impact of a power cut to your business
- what areas to consider when making an emergency plan
- what to do if you have a power cut.
What simple steps can you take to ensure you’re electrically prepared?
- Uninterruptible power supply devices (UPS) - Consider purchasing a UPS device, which will provide a few minutes of emergency back-up if you have a power cut. These devices can protect your computers and wireless networks, as well as larger devices such as servers and data centres.
- Generators - Consider purchasing or renting a back-up generator, which will enable you to continue to carry out your daily business/safeguard refrigerated items without a sustained loss of power if there is a power cut. If you decide to do this, make sure the generator is connected properly by a qualified electrician and regularly tested. Also make sure you notify Northern Powergrid (contact details below).
- Computers and tablets - Save your work and back up to an external drive regularly and enable auto-save on your software if it’s available. If your Wi-Fi is without power, you may be able to use the hotspot on your smart phone or purchase an internet dongle from your network provider to continue working.
- Sales equipment - Many mains-operated tills, electronic scales and other types of equipment have a memory to store sales and date/time information. Ask your supplier how your retail system may be affected by a power cut. If your electricity goes off unexpectedly, switch off your systems and unplug them straight away.
- Telephone systems - Many telephones use “line current” and will operate during a power cut. However, if your telephone has a mains plug, check to see if it has back-up batteries to ensure it works without power. Commercial telephone switchboards vary; some will shut down during a power cut, others will automatically divert calls to one or two lines. Check with your telephone system supplier.
- Security shutters - These might not work during a power cut if they’re mains operated. Check to see if your shutters are fitted with a manual over-ride system or come with a battery back-up. Ask your installer for more details.
- Goods and passenger lifts - Lifts with electrically operated motors will stop during a power cut. There should be someone on site trained to manually operate this type of lift if the electricity goes off unexpectedly.
- History of flooding - Notify your electricity distribution network operator if you work in an area prone to flooding and your meter is below potential flood levels. Make sure appliances are placed in elevated locations if possible. You can speak to your local council to get hold of flood defence equipment.
- Emergency kit - Prepare a ‘grab bag’ containing emergency contact details, including 105 the free number to call to report a power cut, and useful items such as a spare phone/battery back up, wind up/battery operated torches and/or lamps.
- Alternative premises – If the worst happened and your business could be without power for sustained period of time, would you have access to or could you quickly line up an alternative place to work?
What to do if there’s an unplanned power cut
Floods and electricity
Northern Powergrid is the company responsible for the electricity distribution network that powers everyday life for 8 million customers across 3.9 million homes and businesses in Yorkshire, the North East and northern Lincolnshire. If there is a power cut, we’re ready 24/7 to fix it. The electricity network operator offers a range of useful resources:
- 105 – the free number to call to report a power cut
- Online power cut map providing real time updates about power cuts -northernpowergrid.com/power-cuts. Whether planned or unplanned, you’ll be able to locate your power cut, find out what’s happened and when your power is due back on. You can also report a power cut.
- 24/7 customer support on Facebook and Twitter (@NorthPowergrid)
- Guidance videos to help you check your property if there’s a power cut – northernpowergrid.com/what-to-do-in-a-power cut
- Additional advice can be found at northernpowergrid.com/power-cuts-home
- Northern Powergrid’s customer care team can provide a letter confirming the details of the power cut for you to pass on to your insurers in case of damage to your contents or property