Abigail is a big gale

Take care when using candles
Take care when using candles

With Scotland due to be battered by the country’s first named storm – Abigail – in the next 24 hours, warnings about safety have been issued.

SP Energy Networks has issued handy tips to prepare for a power cut. The electricity supplier advises:

· keep the SP Energy Networks number close to hand

· keep your mobile phone charged

· keep a battery powered torch and radio somewhere easy to find

· keep fridges and freezers closed as much as possible to maintain their temperature

· unplug electrical equipment so you don’t forget about them when power is restored.

SP Energy Networks also holds a priority service register – if electricity is crucial to your health, ask to be included on the register so if you’re off power and need access to electricity, the company can make sure you are dealt with as soon as possible.

Guy Jefferson is Director of Distribution at SP Energy Networks and he reminds customers: “We all rely on electricity, especially during the darker winter months. Although power cuts are rare events for most people, it makes sense to be prepared just in case.

“It only takes a few minutes to check that you have everything you need at home in the event of a power cut and the relevant numbers handy to report it so we can help. The quicker we are alerted to a power cut, the quicker we can respond.”

And the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has reminded members of the public to take extra care if using candles during any power cuts which occur due to winter storms.

Director of Prevention and Protection at SFRS, Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, said: “We know that people often use candles in the home, particularly during power cuts and we would like to remind people to be careful.

“If you are using candles try not to expose yourself to any unnecessary risk of fire. Keep candles on hard flat surfaces and away from any flammable materials such as curtains and upholstery and never leave candles burning if you leave the room, house or go to bed.”

The service is also discouraging the use of gas cooking stoves within the homes. These pose a significant risk within the home, they say, and should not be used inside.