Monday, 15 February 2016

Air Raid Precautions

From The Halifax Courier, 12th February 1916.



We are officially informed that householders and shopkeepers in Halifax are not observing the Lighting Restriction Order as they ought to do, and the provisions of the Order are now going to be more strictly enforced.  Many shopkeepers are still, despite warnings, showing too much light on the footpaths, whilst householders in many cases are ignoring instructions to cover up fanlights and skylights.  In many attics and ordinary bedrooms, it is said, no efforts are made to conceal the light when occupants are retiring for the night.  After the numerous warnings given, the police state, other measures will have to be taken if the requirements continue to be ignored.

Inquiring-as to the arrangements now in vogue in case of warning being received of danger of a raid, a representative was informed that no alteration had yet been made in the original plans.  Immediately on receipt of such warning buzzers will give the alarm, consisting of long and short blasts, all electricity will be promptly cut off, and gas lighting will be reduced.

Mr. W. B. McLusky, the Halifax gas engineer and manager has made arrangements by which there will be an immediate reduction of pressure to all the area of supply, except high pressure lamps and the latter will be promptly extinguished.  This plan was broached in Halifax a year ago and has been adopted since in many places.  The reduction of the gas supply in every house will be very pronounced and unmistakable, and should be accepted by every gas consumer as a sequel [signal?] to turn off the gas at every tap in the house, and afterwards take the further precaution of shutting off the gas at the main tap near the meter.  It is also important that every consumer should ascertain now that the main tap is in working order.  It is advisable that all the taps at the various burners should be turned off before turn-off at the meter.

[This article was a follow-up to this one, published in January, when the lighting restrictions had only just been introduced in Halifax. ]


  1. The fact that they advise turning off gas taps, including the main gas tap, does make me wonder how safe it was to reduce pressure in this way. If there was an actual air raid how many people would want to be going around their houses turning off gas taps instead of getting out?

    1. My thought was that the advice to turn off the gas taps in a house might be to reduce the risk of a fire if the house got bombed, by removing a potential fuel source. I think that fires from fractured gas mains were a big problem in the WW2 Blitz, and reducing the gas pressure might help with that too. But I agree with you that it does seem to conflict with the instinct to get somewhere safe as soon as possible in the event of a raid.