Informed. Prepared. Together
  • Stroomonderbreking - Coupure de courant
    Power outage
    When the power suddenly goes out due to a technical (or other) problem, it is called a blackout. If the electricity supply is temporarily cut off, it is called a load-shedding or a brownout. In case of a power shortage, when there is not enough electricity to meet the needs of all consumers, the load-shedding plan may be used to prevent a complete blackout. Whether expected or unexpected, a power outage can put you in the dark for a long or shorter period of time.
  • Avoid waste and reduce your consumption of electricity. This will also reduce the risk of power shortages as well as lower your energy bill!

    • Switch off unnecessary lighting.
    • Lower your thermostat and wear an extra sweater.
    • Turn off completely the electrical appliances in standby mode (so: unplug them).
    • Avoid using an iron, a washing machine, dryer, stove, microwave oven, dishwasher or vacuum cleaner. Use those appliances preferably after 10pm.
    • Encourage your friends to do the same.


    In case of an announced power outage

    • Charge your mobile phone. Bear in mind that telephone networks may be disrupted during a power outage.
    • Prepare an emergency kit, including a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, some medication, blankets, warm clothing,...
    • Make provisions for food that can be eaten cold and some hot water in thermoses (e.g. for baby bottles).
    • Keep your freezer closed. A power outage of 3 to 4 hours will not defrost your food. To be sure, you can put a bag of ice cubes in the freezer. If the ice has not melted, it means that your food is not spoiled.
    • Inform friends, family and vulnerable neighbours.
    • On the day of the announced power outage: if a family member needs electrical medical equipment, take him/her to a hospital.


    If you buy a power generator, have it installed by a professional to reduce the risk of short circuits. The more powerful the power generator, the higher the risk.

    • Unplug sensitive electrical appliances (TV, computer) to avoid damage due to excessive voltage when restarting.
    • For similar reasons, turn down the thermostat of your central heating to the lowest temperature setting.
    • Listen to the media (by means of a battery-powered radio or car radio).
    • It is recommended to use a flashlight rather than candles. If you do use candles, make sure that they are suitable for indoor use (e.g. tea lights), that they cannot fall over and that they are far away enough from flammable materials (e.g. curtains). Never leave them unattended and extinguish them before you go to bed.
    • Do not open your fridge or freezer unnecessarily.
    • Avoid making unnecessary phone calls, so as not to overload the network. Preferably send an SMS.
    • Close all windows and doors to keep the heat inside as much as possible.
    • If you use gas, fuel oil, coal or wood for heating, make sure you have sufficient ventilation and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • Try to avoid travelling by car. Traffic lights may indeed be experiencing some problems.
    • Leave a light switch in the ON position to know when the power has been restored.


    • To reduce the risk of a new power cut, do not turn your electrical appliances back on at the same time. Allow the system to stabilize and, by doing so, you avoid overloading the network.
    • Check if the food in your fridge and freezer is not spoiled. If there is any doubt, throw it away. Your health comes first.
      • You can put a bag of ice in your freezer to check. If you notice that the ice has melted and then refrozen, it is most likely that the food is spoiled.
      • If the freezer door stays closed, the food can remain frozen for 24 hours during a power outage and even up to 36 hours, depending on the temperature. In that case, it is safe to eat the food.
    • If you used your emergency kit during the power outage, refill it.
    • Check if your friends, family and vulnerable neighbours are fine.


    If you are using a power generator, turn it off as soon as the power is restored. That will indeed prevent short circuits.