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Power outage

Power outages are usually of short-lived. In case of long power outages, the inconveniences can be more severe during the cold months.

What should you do when you have a power outage for a few hours or several days?

How to prepare for a power outage

Keep the following in a safe place at home: 

  • A flash light and replacement batteries;
  • Candles, a lighter or matches, a fondue warmer, as well as the recommended fuel.
  • If you have a wood stove or a fireplace, have enough supply of the required fuel. Install a carbon monoxide detector and check it regularly to ensure that it is working well.

What to do during a power outage

Stay current with the news (radio or Internet 3G) 

  • Turn down the thermostats to the minimum.
  • Disconnect all electrical or electronic devices and leave only one lamp per floor in order to avoid a voltage surge when power is restored.
  • Do not open the door of the refrigerator or freezer unnecessarily, in order to allow food to be preserved for 2 to 8 hours.
  • Unless advised otherwise by the municipality, leave a jet of water to flow constantly and flush the toilet a few times during the day in order to avoid the freezing of pipes.
  • If you have an auxiliary heating device, turn it on before your house gets too cold.

Watch out...

The following devices should never be used indoors: heating devices, lighting devices, or outdoor stoves meant for camping such as charcoal or propane barbecues, camping heaters or propane stoves.

What to do when power is restored


  • Ensure that the water heater is full before restoring power.
  • Restore power by turning on the main switch.
  • Open the water main and the taps to let air escape.
  • Do not turn on the gas yourself; this should be done by a specialist.


Be careful about food poisoning!


  • Ensure that food in the fridge or freezer is fresh:
  • Throw away perishable food items (dairy products, meats, chicken, fish, eggs, etc.) that have been exposed to a temperature of more than 4 °C for more than two hours.
  • Throw away food that show signs of deterioration, such as fungi or bad odours.
  • Never re-refrigerate food that has been unfrozen. Partially unfrozen foods (presence of frost on the surface of the packaging) can be re-frozen.


Most home insurance policies include special coverage for loss of food that is stored in the freezer.

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Dernière mise à jour: 2015-07-28 09:10