SES and UNICEF launch home safety campaign amid power outages

23 January 2023

January 23, 2023, Kyiv — An information campaign has been launched in Ukraine to raise awareness on the safe use of generators, gas burners, heating stoves, and candles, amid power and heating outages across the country.


The ‘Safety at Home in Time of War’ campaign, launched by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the State Emergency Service (SES), follows 2710 that have occurred since the beginning of this year. Most are domestic fires caused by the improper use of alternative heating and lighting. 


According to the data of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, from November to December 2022, 868 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning were recorded in Ukraine, among them 215 children. 


"Every day, rescuers fight the consequences of carelessness when using heating and electrical appliances,” said Oleksandr Chekryhin, the Director of the Emergency Prevention Department of SES. “Among the most common cases of emergencies are the explosion of gas burners inside houses and carbon monoxide poisoning. I'm sure that raising awareness about safety rules among Ukrainians can save many lives of our citizens."


The campaign reminds Ukrainians to follow the rules of handling generators, gas appliances, stove heating and candles in order to save lives. It will appear on radio and television, online, and in buildings, elevators and outdoor advertising.


“Following attacks on energy and other critical infrastructure, millions of children in Ukraine often stay in cold homes without power supply, deprived of rights and a normal childhood,” says Murat Sahin, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “Their families have to use candles, gas burners and generators to have light and to keep warm, which is not always safe indoors. These simple rules on home safety are important to save the lives and health of children and their families.”


As part of the campaign, learning materials will be developed for children to help them understand important safety rules at home amid the war. It is also hoped that the materials will encourage children to pass this knowledge on to their parents.


The safety rules advise:


  • Since generators emit carbon monoxide, they should always be placed outside, at a distance of six meters from windows and doors.
  • Gas burners are designed for heating food and only in small dishes. It is dangerous to heat burners for a long time. Use burners outside or in a room with ventilation. Use only certified products at licensed sales points and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Check stoves and chimneys before use. Problems may arise if chimneys are not cleaned and there are cracks.
  • Candles should be placed on a stable surface away from flammable materials.
  • It is dangerous to turn on all home devices at the same time, as this can overload the network.

Find more about safety rules at home during power outages in this article on the State Emergency Service website. 


Media contacts

Damian Rance
Chief Advocacy and Communications
UNICEF Ukraine


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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