What to do in a gas or electricity emergency?

Find out what you should do in the event of a gas or electricity emergency.

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Updated 18 June 2020  | 2 min read

Key points

  • If you suspect a gas leak, don’t turn on or off any electrical appliances or use your mobile phone. Move away from the property and call the National Gas Emergency Service 0800 111 999
  • To report a power cut call 105. For power line or substation emergencies call 0800 404 090
  • If your energy meter is faulty, contact your energy supplier
  • Your home insurance is likely to cover damage caused to your building and/or possessions due to gas or electricity emergencies

What should I do if I smell gas?

If you smell gas or suspect a leak, move outside the property and call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

Calls are free and you’ll be able to access help and advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

It’s also suggested to calmly take the following steps:

  • Open all doors and windows to ventilate the area
  • Turn off the mains gas supply
  • Don’t turn any electrical switches on or off
  • Evacuate the property if you suspect carbon monoxide is leaking
  • Don’t smoke or light matches

To minimise the risk of a gas emergency, get your appliances tested regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Don’t use any appliances you think are faulty and make sure any ventilation bricks, flues and grilles aren’t covered or blocked.

What should I do in a power cut?

Check that your home’s trip switch hasn’t been triggered by a household appliance first. Ask your neighbours if they’ve been affected too.

If there has been a power cut, wrap up warm and switch off all electric appliances that you wouldn’t leave unattended – such as an iron or hob – but leave a light switched on so you’ll know when the power returns.

Don’t call your energy supplier – it doesn’t deal with power lines, cables and substations. Instead, call 105 to contact your electricity network operator for assistance.

To report any damaged electricity lines or substations call 0800 404 090. If there’s an immediate risk, such as cables blocking a road, contact the emergency services too.

Faulty or broken gas or electricity meters

There might be a problem with your meter if:

  • Your bill is much higher than normal
  • Your meter shows an error message
  • Your electricity meter is leaking

You should be able to check whether your meter has a fault by turning off all appliances in your home and waiting around 30 minutes for your meter to record the last of your energy usage.

If the numbers are still moving after turning off all appliances, you could have a faulty meter. Get in touch with your energy supplier if there’s a problem with your meter.

If the numbers on your meter stop moving, turn one appliance on at a time and check the meter each time. If the numbers start to move very quickly, there could be a fault with the appliance.

Your electricity meter can leak, although it doesn’t happen often. If the liquid is hot, looks like black tar and smells strange then call 105.

After your emergency is resolved

For peace of mind, you can arrange for an engineer to conduct a gas and/or electricity safety check and appliance servicing, to check everything is working as it should. Some energy suppliers might insist on a safety check before restoring power to your property.

How does a gas leak or electricity problem impact my home insurance?

Many insurers cover damage to your building and possessions in the event of a gas explosion or a problem caused by electricity, depending on whether you have home insurance that offers buildings and/or contents cover .

You can also get home emergency cover which can pay for call out costs, labour, parts and VAT in the event of something such as the gas or electricity supply failing.

If you make a claim, the cost of your premiums will rise when you renew your home insurance.