Prepare for longer interruptions

Although our power and heat distribution networks are very reliable, longer service interruptions may sometimes occur. Preparations are important.

If you have no electricity

  • In case of blackout turn off the electric appliances and lights that were on before the blackout. Leave (for example) one light on so that you can see when the power is back. To avoid the power distribution system from collapsing due to high consumption peaks, increase room temperature slowly after the power is back using the thermostats of your heating system or your radiators.
  • Always have at least one battery-powered flashlight, a portable radio, spare batteries, candles and matches on hand. Never leave candles burning unguarded.
  • A battery-powered radio is important so that you can listen to announcements on local radio channels. If your Internet connection works, see our website for service announcements.
  • If you want to make sure short blackouts do not affect your computers and other important appliances you can install a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) unit.
  • Do not open the freezer unless you really need to. Thawing from the normal freezing temperature (-18°C) to zero takes several hours; the freezer will retain the cold for a long time as long as it is not unnecessarily opened. In the wintertime frozen goods can also be kept outside. Use thawed frozen goods for cooking.
  • Water trays should be fitted under freezers for retaining leaking water; in case of a long blackout drain the water periodically from the tray to prevent water damage.
  • A camping cooker is a great aid in case your electric cooker has no electricity. However, take care of fire safety when using a camping cooker.
  • If you have a fireplace, keep firewood available.
  • In case of long blackouts the mobile telephone network is very likely to stop functioning after a few hours. Avoid using the telephone unnecessarily in order not to overload the network. Keep the batteries of your mobile phone charged. Get a car charger or a solar charger to be able to recharge your phone during blackout.
  • If uninterrupted power supply is very important or you want to make sure your home stays warm in all events during the winter, consider getting a generator set.

If heating does not work

All heating methods except fireplaces depend on electricity. In detached houses boilers, burners and terrestrial heat systems as well as water and air circulation pumps are electric. District heating also depends on electricity. Electricity is required for operating power plants, for pumping water into the district heating network, and for circulating hot water in the heat distribution network of your property.

Distribution of district heating may sometimes be interrupted even if there is nothing wrong with electricity. Interruptions may be caused by production problems in power plants, failure of a heat distribution network component, or a problem in the heat distribution room of your house.

If the room temperature of your home starts going down

  • Avoid unnecessary ventilation to retain heat. Shut the windows and make sure the front door is closed. Close all doors to corridors and hallways.
  • If possible, make a fire in the fireplace.
  • If your property has wood-fired water circulation heating keep in mind that the circulation pump will not work during blackout, which may cause the boiler to overheat. It is important to get the circulation pump running again, or the system must have a gravity-flow option.
  • If possible, get a gas heater that makes it possible to keep at least one room warm. Gas heaters require no electricity, but care must be taken to ensure fire safety and sufficient ventilation.
  • Avoid using electric heaters. Although the fuses of your property may withstand the extra load, the power network cannot withstand electric heaters running in all houses or apartments of the area.
  • Dress in warm clothes. Wool is an excellent thermal insulation material. Wool jerseys and wool socks help you keep your body warm.

If room temperature falls below +15°C

  • Try to keep one room of the house or the apartment warm. Shut the doors to outer rooms and corner rooms, and prevent cold air from flowing from them to the warm rooms by blocking air holes using carpets or towels.
  • Cover the windows using thick curtains or blankets. Set extra carpets on the floor.
  • Add extra layers of clothing. Quilts and blankets will also help you keep your body warm.

Water supply

Major blackouts also cause disruptions to water supply and sewer systems when pumps stop working. Follow announcements from authorities and the waterworks for information about distribution of water during major disruptions.

  • If water supply does not work, your toilet seat flushes only flush once. After that it can only be flushed by pouring water into the toilet. The sewer network, however, may not work if there is no power to the pumps.