Power cut

Had a bit of a scare at 4.00 this morning when I woke up needing to go to the loo. None of the lights were working so it didn't take me long to realise we were in the middle of a power cut. Panic then ensued when it occurred to me that Stuart was asleep in the next bedroom connected to the oxygen machine, which of course obviously was producing no oxygen because there was no power! We've only had the concentrator for about 3 weeks so this is something you don't really think about happening. The very big oxygen cylinder they give you to use in such an emergency event is actually next to his chair downstairs, which is where he spends the most hours out of 24. So I had to dash downstairs to bring up a smaller, portable cylinder for him, then woke him up to tell him what was going on. ( You will note that, typical man that he is, he's sleeping peacefully like an innocent babe whilst I' m going through all this trauma!!). Thank goodness I had a portable cylinder in the house as they are generally kept in the garage these days. The power came back on quite soon after all this activity, but I was very concerned when I saw from the cooker clock that the power went off a few minutes after midnight. So Stuart had been sleeping without the oxygen for over 4 hours! Could this have done him any harm I wonder? Anyway, I certainly learned a few lessons from this whole saga. Firstly, I need to find out from the oxygen company if there is some sort of alarm to let you know there is a power cut. Secondly, thank goodness I always keep a torch by the bedside which enabled me to move around the house quickly in the dark whislt getting the candles out. Then, on lighting a candle it occurred to me "should I be lighting candles in a house where there are oxygen cylinders about?" So I suppose I must get more torches and batteries. Now that Stuart is using a concentrator 24x7, I now keep the supply of portable cylinders he has in the garage. Well, thank goodness there happened to be one in the hall otherwise I would have had to go out to the garage at 4 am in the dark to get one! You only really learn about things by experience as I certainly discovered last night! Oh well, must now go round the house resetting all the clocks, boiler timer, etc. Also phone the stairlift company to confirm (for my peace of mind) that the lift would have worked should it have been necessary for Stuart to come downstairs during the power cut. Has anyone out there got any other tips about what to do in a power cut?

18 Replies

Hi, you must be shattered after all that activity, and I am glad your husband is ok.

I am not on oxygen, but the BOC Nhs have a website.... THE HOME OXYGEN HANDBOOK with lots of advice which you probably know already.

They recommend telling your electricity provider that you use oxygen.

I also remember the Fire Service came to our Breathe Easy meeting and they can advise you as well if you contact them

Best wishes

Take a moment to realise that you managed to sort things out while half asleep and by torchlight. This will also give you the ability to sort things out to your liking.

So well done you.

The stair lift we had for Mum worked when the electric failed but I don't know if they all do..

Have you registered with the electric company as a custmer with special needs, I don't think that's the right phrase but tell them about the oxygen need at night.

Once again well done you

You must have been in a right panic. I live on my own and on 24/7 oxygen, I have been worried all winter but I am pretty well set up should I get one. The big cylinder is upstairs as the Suppliers said it was more likely to have cuts during the night. I bought two Vango camping lamps for chance, they are supposed to last about 12 hours on the lower setting and are charged up from the mains or a car 12v socket. I also have a rechargeable torch upstairs and one down. The only thing I haven't got is a means to brew up, Halfords sell 12v kettles so I may invest. I do have a spare car battery in the house which I can use. All expense but to feel safe is well worth it. Vango lamps are on Amazon or at camping shops. Best wishes, Tatters.

Hi Misstickle, You did brilliantly!! You must be exhausted, but know that your husband has a very good carer!

Practical after-the -horse-has -bolted points: if you haven'y already, contact the oxygen equipment company. Concentrators should have alarms which go off when there's a power cut. Its's very loud and would have woken Stuart but at least you would have known. They should also be able to give you advice about candles etc. And I've been told to contact mine at once if there's a power cut.

Your power supplier should know about Stuart and that he's a priority user. They would have to put a generator in if necessary if it was going to go on for long.

Your house insurers should know that there's oxygen in the house - you won't be penalised but would be covered if you ever had to make a claim.

You should have known all these things when oxygen and the concentrator were delivered. It would be worth asking why you didn't. Someone's slipped up and you shouldn't have been put through all that.

Good luck!

Sue x

Hi sue I didn't know either that I should inform my insurance company about having oxygen cylinders in my home. Thanks for that. I did notify my car insurance they were fine about it. At one time you used to have to have a sticker on your car saying oxygen was being carried but apparently you don't any more.

Hello, the house insurance thing is only to make sure you're covered. There are so many things to think about, aren't there? It sounds as though you're coping so well.

I hope Stuart's having a good weekend? Look after yourself too.

Sue x

Well done, you coped very well........my concentrator gives off a beeping sound for quite a while when the power goes off. Most stair lifts work from internal batteries and the company who fitted mine said it should run for seven or eight trips before the batteries are flat...........I keep a portable cylinder upstairs and one downstairs, just in case........... the big one is out in a box in the garden.


My concentrator has a very annoying beep when the power goes off. I think the fact Stuart was fast asleep and not in any distress shows it didn't do any harm. DO NOT ever use candles where you have O2!!! Very dangerous. My daughter-in-law won't even light a birthday cake candle in my house.

I recently bought a lantern which looks like an old fashioned lamp but its battery powered. Very handy. ☺

You did amazingly well it is very scary when the electric goes off, perhaps your oxygen company could give you another large cylinder next to the bed so if it happens again it will be in the right place.

take care

polly xx

Many thanks indeed for all your helpful comments. Yes, I was aware of a lot of the points but, for example it took a little while (having woken at 4 in the morning) to register that I shouldn't in fact be lighting candles! I will certainly follow up on the points mentioned that I wasn't aware of. My main reason for posting the message I suppose was my realisation that, until you're actually put into a certain situation, you can never be sure what you will remember or how you will react. We've lived here for over 10 years now and it's only the 2nd power cut we've had day or night, so it's not exactly a common occurrence. But at least I'm certainly more prepared. I must say how thankful I am that I discovered this online forum. Stuart's copd was diagnosed 10 years ago now and, up until about 6 months ago he was able to lead a reasonably active life so I never really had to be too involved with his condition. However since Christmas the copd has moved on at an alarming pace and I now find I'm having to do everything for him now. I really can't imagine how I would have coped without the benefit of all the information I have picked up from this site. Stuart won't use the internet ( or even a mobile phone!!) so it's been down to me really to find as much info as possible. So thank you everyone. You make me so grateful and thankful that I'm in good health.

my oh my , oh my ,!

I have just read your post and have read it all over again ,.....

you are indeed a star !

to cope so well with all that going on , and yes typical man , ( don't we just love em ) ?

hope you have given yourself a pat on the back and treat yourself to something nice .

x x x

HI Misstickle, catching up on posts. I have an RAC lantern which will sit on any surface and is safer than candles and gives more light. They are not expensive and normally used to fix cars in the dark, it is light to carry or you could have one up and one down. Lifts normally have a back up battery that lasts so long , then a ratchet key to turn manually if necessary, depending on your strength you might need help. I have a maintenance pack which means I can call them out to use the manual mode. You also need a mobile or old none digital phone to contact people. Best to stay in bed as the heating does not work either, everything is dependent on electric. Hope you are recovered from the surprise cut in the night.

where did you get the lamp from please ?

I keep torches about the place { just in case ) but am liking the sound of a lamp x

I bought mine in Sainsbury's, but I think Argos do them as well plus sites on line. Beware don't buy the small very cheap lantern from Argos it is useless. Think Wilko do a similar lantern also like the RAC style x

thanks Katie ,

I will certainly " have a mooch " x

Your welcome.x

Model number is RACHP392 if thats any help.

gotcha x

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