Preparation for Power Outages: University Instructions

In preparation for possible power outages, the University of Helsinki has published instructions for students and faculty members.

This winter, Europe finds itself in the midst of an energy crisis and while it is necessary for all of us to be mindful of our energy consumption, we should also be aware of what to do in case of a power outage. The University of Helsinki has prepared a list of instructions for this unlikely, but possible situation. Furthermore, on November, 28, 2022 the University held a Q&A session to address what preparations should be made for possible power outages and what effects they may have for studying, research, work, as well as information security.

The detailed instructions on what to do in the case of a power outage are presented in Flamma. The easiest ways to be prepared as students, is to keep the batteries of your laptop and phone charged, be mindful of where the emergency exits in the University buildings are located, and stay calm. Keep in mind that the mobile data networks may be congested.

See the full instructions below or in Flamma.   


Prepare for power outages in advance

  • Keep the batteries of your phone and laptop charged.
  • Find out where the emergency exits of the building are.
  • Learn how to use the flashlight function in your phone.
  • Learn how to turn off the electrical appliances in your work area.
  • Note that during a power outage the data connections in the building will not work and the mobile data network may become congested.

What to do during a power outage

  • Stay calm and, if possible, find a location with more light.
  • If you are stuck in a lift, press the alarm button and wait for help. The emergency system will remain functional during a power outage. You may have to wait for some time, as numerous lifts in the area will have stopped due to the power outage.
  • Check if anyone is stuck in the lifts in the building. When needed, stay as support to them.
  • Turn off all electrical appliances that may get damaged when electricity is restored.
  • Turn off appliances posing a fire or leak hazard, such as coffee makers, dishwashers, etc.

If the power outage lasts longer than five minutes

  • Interrupt teaching and guide students out of the building.
  • In customer service functions, guide customers out of the premises.
  • Close the building windows and doors. During a power outage, heating and ventilation will stop working.
  • Avoid using water and toilets. There may be diminished water supply during a power outage.
  • If you can continue working safely during a power outage, you may do so or take a break.
  • If possible, you can transfer to remote work. If remote work is not possible, take a break.

Special considerations for laboratories

  • Turn off the power from potentially hazardous electrical appliances.
  • Turn off any equipment water supply.
  • Turn off all gas taps from the main valve.
  • Make sure that no hazardous pressurised or evacuated equipment or ongoing processes are left in the laboratory.
  • Fume hoods will not work during a power outage. Make sure that reactions that cause gasses or are otherwise hazardous are not left in the fume hoods. Close down all hazardous reactions, even if it means that your sample will be ruined. Pull the fume hood lid down.
  • Follow the laboratory’s special instructions.