Apart from the German planes, the night sky could also bring other dangers. In every part of the country people had to ‘blackout’. This meant putting up heavy curtains or boards at windows to stop any light escaping from houses after dark. With no light shining planes flying overhead could not see the towns and cities below them unless it was a bright moonlit night. To keep cities as dark as possible street lights were also turned off. Car and bicycle lights used shields that directed light on to the ground just in front of them.
The lack of light in Bristol at night caused a particular problem. Some people could not see where the road ended and the dock and river began. Twenty eight people walked straight into the dock or river between September 1939 and January 1940! Signs had to be put up warning people of the danger!