Melbourne Hospitals on Code Yellow As Heat Poses Power Risk

Melbourne hospitals, including The Alfred, have enacted a 'Code Yellow' and switched off non-essential lights and equipment to conserve energy amid Friday's searing heat.

The Health Department told Melbourne hospitals to prepare their emergency plans in the case of power outages.

"The department yesterday wrote to all hospitals advising them to prepare for the impact of extreme heat," a spokesperson said on Friday.

"This includes preparing for increased patient demand and possible energy disruptions." The Alfred hospital confirmed that it was reducing the "use of electricity that is not directly needed for patient care".

This practice is called a Code Yellow according to the department.

"This is consistent with the advice provided by Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)," a hospital spokesperson said.

"Hospitals within Alfred Health have strong back up and emergency power supply capacity and in the event of a power outage expect clinical services to continue without interruption." The mercury topped 40.3 degrees at 2.27pm in Melbourne on Friday, but dropped to 35.8 degrees not long after 3pm.

The temperature at Avalon Airport reached 42.8 degrees at 12.45pm, but had dropped nearly 10 degrees by mid afternoon.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said it was normal practice to alert all services of possible blackouts on extremely hot days.

"We asked all of the networks to ensure that they had plans in place," Lapsley said on Friday afternoon.

"It wasn't just health. They were told to make sure their business continuity plans were able to be activated today," he said.

The Alfred said it had taken the initiative reduce electricy use "to act as good corporate citizens".

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