What to do When the Power Goes Out in your Condo.

What to do When the Power Goes Out in your Condo.


First, Determine the Extent of the Power Outage

When the lights go out, most of us know the first thing we should do is unplug the appliances, computers and other electronics, in our home.  Then, many of us get out the candles or flashlights, read a book, play some cards, or find some other ways to pass the time until the power is restored.   If you live in a high-rise condominium, there are some things that will specifically affect you and your home that are different than living in a single family home.

First, make sure that the power outage is building wide and not just your suite.  If the power outage only affects your home, check your in-suite Electrical Panel.   Our step by step video will help you reset your electrical panel and get power back to your suite.




Community Wide Power Outage

If the power outage is community-wide,  the process is slightly different.  First, your condominium community will have a generator to ensure adequate lighting should still be operating in essential areas, such as the underground parking levels, common areas, corridors and stairwells.  While a power outage may reduce the number of available elevators in your community, at least one elevator will continue to operate normally.  During Registration with Property Management at the time of your move-in, residents are asked to complete a form to notify the Property Management office of any residents unable to use stairs in the community, for just such emergency concerns.  It’s a good idea to make sure your information is up-to-date before something happens.

Water pressure may also be affected.  If you reside higher than the 2nd or 3rd floor, the flow of water to your suite may be disrupted.   Don’t worry, you can still fill up a jug of water on the lower floors at the recreational facilities or common areas of your community.

Some other good tips for when you’re in the dark:


Being prepared for an emergency, such as a power outage, is just good practice. We would like to recommend the following:

  • Familiarize yourself with building operations and emergency preparedness during a power outage – your Homecare Guide and your Property Manager can explain which services and utilities will and will not be available during any power outage.
  • Keep an Emergency Supply kit, including a flashlight, fresh batteries, a water bottle and a First Aid kit.
  • Familiarize yourself with any medical equipment operated by electrical power and their back-up battery power, that may be in use inside your home.
  • Establish an alternative residence or location where you can take your family (especially if you have young children or are elderly) during any extended power outage.


During a Power Outage:

  • To report a power outage, call Toronto Hydro-Electric System’s Lights Out at 416-542-8000.
  • Unplug or turn off all your appliances, computers, monitors, etc.
  • Record the time the power went out.  That way, when the power comes back on, you’ll have an idea how long your fridge was turned off.
  • Keep your fridge and freezer doors closed.  Avoid the urge to check how the temperature is holding.
  • Keep one light turned on to let you know when the power has come back on.
  • If your dishwasher or washing machine was working when the power went off, turn the waterline off and make sure your washer and dryer are also turned off.
  • Keep your faucets closed to avoid any water leakage / flood when the power is restored.
  • Only use a candle if you are present.   It is never safe to leave a burning candle unattended.
  • If there is a fire alarm in the building, please follow the instructions on the building fire plan and announcement made by the fire department.
  • During a power outage your building emergency generator is designed to provide emergency power to the building fire alarm system, common area lighting (building hallways, a few amenities, lobby and parking garage) and possibly one elevator.
  • If there is an emergency during the power outage, please call 911.

After a Power Outage:

When the lights come back on, follow the steps below to get everything back to normal:

  • Check your electrical panel for blown fuses or tripped circuits.
  • Don’t turn everything back on at once.  Start with the essentials, like your fridge.  Wait about 15 minutes, and then you can start to plug everything else back in.
  • Check the time on your television or cell phone.  That way, you’ll be able to figure out how long your fridge and freezer were not working.
  • Ensure that your faucets are closed and there is no running water or possibility of flood.
  • Ensure that all your electrical appliances (such as your stove and oven) and devices (such as an iron) are turned OFF.

Remember, if you need to contact the city for non-emergency services or programs, you can call 3-1-1, 24 hour a day, 7 day a week.

For more handy tips and useful information on your condominium home, check out the Resources page on Tridel.com.