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Power failure

Electrical power is vital to our day to day living in the London Borough of Hillingdon. Find out how to minimise the impact of a power outage on your daily activities.

Power Failure


  • See the "My Emergency Plan" page for details on preparing an emergency pack for this sort of incident.
  • Ensure you have a wind up radio and enough spare batteries for torches you may use.
  • Consider installing (or having in a cupboard) an "old style" plug in telephone (one that doesn't require electricity) to ensure that you can use the telephone when there is no power.
  • There are two electricity providers operating within Hillingdon, UK Power Networks who operate in the North (operating area incorporating Ruislip and Northwood), and Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) cover the remainder of the Borough. Both companies provide guidance on their respective websites for:
    • reporting power failures
    • displaying maps to illustrate where known failures are currently being dealt with
    • to allow priority vulnerable residents to register with them 
  • On 6 September 2016, a new national phone number "105" was launched by electricity network operators for customers to call should they need to report or get information about a power cut in their area.

​​​Find out more »


  • Often power failures occur with little or no warning. Information regarding the expected time period for the outage may be available via local radio stations.


  • Turn off and unplug all non-essential electrical equipment.
  • Leave one light on - when it turns back on you will be able to tell that the power has returned.
  • Keep your freezer door closed - freezer foods can last up to 8 hours. During the cut do not open the freezer door unless you have to.
  • When the power returns check all food to ensure that it has not thawed - if it has do not refreeze it. If you have to dispose of food you may be able to claim on your household contents insurance - check your policy for more details. 
  • Never leave candles or heating appliances in un-occupied rooms.
  • Keep warm by staying in one room and wearing several layers of clothing.
  • Normally your energy supplier will be made aware of widespread power cuts. However if your neighbours have power while you don't, contact your power supplier's to inform them.
  • When outside stay away from; electrical lines that have fallen down, areas that are flooded and any debris from electrical equipment installations.
  • If you have your own generator, do not use it inside your home and be careful to follow safe operating procedures.
  • Check your circuit breaker has not tripped. See your power supplier's website for more details.
  • Remember that the door bell/security system and any intercoms will not be operational during a power failure.


  • Due to the lack of power in your area (and any associated incidents) the Emergency Services may decide to evacuate your area.
  • Ensure you have a "My Emergency Plan" in place.
  • Listen for instructions from the Emergency Services via the radio and through tannoys in your street.


  • When the power supply returns, remember that your circuit breaker may trip if all your electrical equipment is turned back on quickly.
  • Ensure that you have turned off and unplugged all electrical equipment shortly after the power failure occurring.
  • When the power supply returns, you will need to reset electrical timers on cookers/heaters/alarm clocks etc.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 13 Jun 2017 at 11:25