With the recent influx of flooding in various areas throughout the country, the issue of electrical safety during a flood is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Should electrical equipment come into contact with flood water, the very serious danger of electrocution occurs. After a flooding event and in the clean-up phase when the waters from a flood have dispersed, there are still more risks because there is a serious risk of electrocution from appliances damaged by water.
The risk of an electrical accident during or after flooding is often ignored, since most victims of floods are occupied with other devastating issues. Unfortunately though, electrical safety is the first thing that should be considered when re-entering a home or property damaged by floods.
Here are some very important tips to keep in mind during and after a flood when it comes to electrical safety:
- Never step into a flooded room that may have electrical appliances, cords, or outlets that have been in contact with water.
- Never attempt to access or turn off electrical power at the breaker box if it requires you to stand in water to do it. If you can’t safely reach your breaker box from a dry area, immediately call your electric company or an electrician to turn off your home’s power at the meter.
- Never attempt to use an electrical appliance or come into contact with electric switches, fuses or wires, while you’re wet or standing in water.
- Always keep electrical equipment or tools at least 10 feet away from any wet surface. Never use electrical gardening or yard tools while it’s raining or if the ground is still wet.
- If any of your electrical appliances have come into contact with water, have them professionally checked out before they are plugged back in or used. Water damage may cause them to need to be repaired or even replaced to avoid an electrical fire.
- Remember that although your power company may have turned the electricity off externally, it is always smart to turn it off at the circuit breaker box inside your home as well. Power may be restored by the power company without your knowledge causing a surge of power throughout your home that may have water near dangerous electrical hazards.
After a flood, some major decisions may have to be made regarding the appliances or electronics in your home. A thorough electrical inspection is vital to your family’s safety following a flood. John's Electrical experts are standing by today to answer all of your questions related to flood safety and to conduct in depth inspections of your homes electrical system.