British households are beng warned to prepare for blackouts by having warm clothes ready and keeping torches nearby as the coronavirus lockdown continues.
The power cut warning comes amid fears that staff shortages, due to sickness and self isolation could lead to issues with the UK’s power network.
The Mail Online reports: The National Grid insists that the network is able to cope, while industry chiefs have described it as ‘one of the most reliable networks in the world’.
It comes as one electrical infrastructure firm has now written to some of its most vulnerable customers warning them to keep torches and warm clothes nearby in case of power cuts.
UK Power Networks, which owns and maintains the electricity cables in the South East and East of England, as well as London, has written to priority customers, including pensioners and those with young children, telling them what to do if their homes are hit with a power cut.
The advice, reported in The Daily Telegraph today, includes ‘keeping a torch handy’ and ‘reducing heat loss by closing doors on unused rooms’.
Customers are also advised to have a ‘hat, gloves and a blanket to hand to keep warm’ and, where possible, to keep a corded telephone in the house, as well as a power bank to recharge mobile phones.
A spokesperson for UK Power Networks said: ‘We regularly contact customers on our Priority Services Register, to ensure we meet their needs and it’s never more important than in the current circumstances.
‘This is to ensure we continue to provide them with the best possible support.
‘We are continuing to fix power cuts and maintain the electricity network to ensure its continued reliability.
‘Across our networks, power supplies are 99.9 per cent reliable, and our dedicated teams are keeping the power flowing.’
The advice comes as many electricity firms across the UK put non-essential infrastructure work on hold.
Companies have also implemented emergency strategies to deal with the knock-on effects of Covid-19, which has infected more than 22,000 people in the UK.
So far, 1,798 people have died as a result of the virus.
Other electricity distributors across the UK are also reportedly contacting the most vulnerable.
The energy firms are also ensuring staff can continue to work on essential projects while still abiding by the government’s social distancing rules.
However a boss of one firm, SP Energy Networks, which operates in parts of Scotland, the North West and North Wales, said that staff sickness was a particular concern.
Concern was also raised about the length of time that the government’s social distancing guidance could be in place for.
But industry chiefs have backed the UK network, which they say is the ‘one of the most reliable electricity networks in the world’