Winter Blackouts – Preventative Advice

In recognition of the challenges at this time of the year, Valentina Sabucco, Manager – Security and Protection Advice at Arts Council England, has provided the following advice in response to possible concerns for winter blackouts:

·       Review risk assessments to capture possible consequences power blackouts may have on buildings, collections, and staff’s operations, and plan accordingly.

·       Consider possible ways in which resilience can be increased, for example installing multiple power feeds to minimise the likelihood of a power disruption affecting a venue. Electricity Network Operator will be able to advise if installing an additional power feed is feasible and cost effective.

·       Ensure that fire and alarm systems have been serviced and where applicable battery backups are available.

·       If you have a back-up generator, test it and make sure you are aware of how long it will last in case of a power cut.

·       Contact service providers for your telephone, security system and fire protection system for information on how they will operate during and after an electrical outage.

·       Know what equipment can and cannot be turned off during an outage. Develop a plan for controlled shut-down if needed.

·       Based on the risk assessment conducted, considerations may be given to surrender some parts of a building or site, saving energy for the most important areas.

·       Think about how communications will be managed, both internally and externally, in case of a power blackout.

·       Ensure you have a list of emergency phone contacts at hand if needed.

·       If any changes are made to any of your operational procedures, ensure these are reflected in the risk management plan and staff are aware of these.


Please remember that being proactive and taking action now will help everyone be better prepared should we experience power blackouts later on.  Don’t forget that the Museum Development Yorkshire team are always on hand.  For sources of support and advice, please contact your local Museum Development Officer or