Power outages: schools, elevators, red lights, metro… what will happen in case of load shedding?

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As winter approaches, the risk of local power outages becomes more and more real. In anticipation, the government plans to make adjustments to transportation and certain electrical appliances. La Dépêche is a shareholder.

“Prepare all scenarios to solve all situations”. The government sent a circular to prefects this Wednesday, November 30, even as the risk of blackouts this winter becomes more and more concrete. The document discusses scenarios related to power outages. The executive is actually planning a few tweaks regarding transportation or certain devices that run on electricity. We take part.

Trains and subways

Warning to travelers. Some trains or subways may be canceled to avoid passengers being stranded in the middle of the road: “Either it goes from end to end, or we prefer to take a two-hour break because staying on the subway for two hours is not an option,” a government source told AFP. “If we cannot provide the entire journey, we will change the train,” the government assures.

Also read:
Electricity: “We don’t announce that there will be outages”, annoys Olivier Vera

The situation of the trains is especially difficult for the prefects. Indeed, if the electrical network that supplies the trains is independent and there is no risk of interruption, it can well affect the network that operates the elements necessary for the proper functioning of the movement – stations, level crossings.

So the motto is: some trains or subways may be closed for two hours either from 8 am to 10 am or from 6 pm to 8 pm.


Therefore, schools that are not part of critical areas are likely to be evacuated. This creates a huge problem for the government: some may not actually wake up in the morning to avoid being without light, heat or excitement. In this case, classes can resume in the afternoon. According to French BlueAreas with colleges and high schools may experience blackouts in the evening.

In any case, the French will be notified of these cuts via the app or the EcoWatt website.

Elevators and security doors

Since most of the elevators are powered by electricity, there is a danger of them shutting down. Therefore, the residents of a private house may have to use the stairs during the outages. Landlords and tenants must be notified in advance.

Also read:
Electricity: cuts could affect 60% of French this winter, government warns

There is also the issue of electrically protected residential doors. The latter, powered by electricity, can remain closed or, conversely, wide open during a power outage. According to an EDF blog article on electric shocks, certain installations can be locked so the building can be accessed from the outside with a key or code and from the inside with a button; other systems open doors freely; Finally, some units are equipped with a battery to keep the door operating despite a power outage.

street lighting

The government on Wednesday assured that public lighting will not be spared from load shedding. Therefore, you should be careful when going out at night.

Emergency numbers

The government is still working on the phone disconnection issue. Because fixed and mobile networks will be unavailable during load shedding. Therefore, it is recommended to call 112 for emergencies. Since this service is not available everywhere, the executive plans to map the white areas and transfer telephone antennas to prefectures that need to find solutions.

Also read:
Power: Orange warns of risk of phone outages this winter

Signal fires

In the event of an outage, the traffic lights may no longer be lit, which can make traffic especially difficult. Nevertheless, Olivier Veran cast doubt on the microphone of BFMTV / RMC this Thursday : “Traffic lights, it depends on the location,” a government spokesman said without elaborating.

Faced with the risk of traffic jams, the government has warned that traffic may be restricted by prefects during the two-hour outage. In general, the presence of law enforcement and emergency services on public roads could be strengthened.

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