Chances are, you have a lot on your mind during and immediately following a flood. Safety should always be your top priority. While it may not be an obvious danger, live electrical circuits can cause severe injury and death.
Follow these electrical safety tips to stay safe during and after a flood.
Prevent Electrical Hazards Before Flooding Occurs
If severe flooding is predicted for your area, follow these tips to avoid electrical hazards:
- Shut off electricity to your home at the central breaker.
- Remove portable electrical devices such as TVs, small appliances and computers to upper floors.
- Cover outlets with electrical tape. While this will not prevent water from seeping into the outlets, it will keep out silt, mud and debris that can cause problems later.
Stay Safe During a Flood
If you have standing water in your home – whether it is from a weather-related incident or a burst pipe – there are a few simple rules that will help you stay safe:
- Wear rubber boots and gloves any time you must walk through potentially electrified waters or touch appliances or circuit breakers.
- If possible, use electrical testing equipment to find out if water is electrified before coming into contact with it.
- If you can do so safely, shut off the electricity to your home.
Clean Up and Restore Your Home
Once the authorities have opened the roads and allowed you to return to your home, your first impulse may be to switch on the lights and have a look around. Unfortunately, even if the authorities have allowed residents to return, your home may still be a dangerous place. Bring flashlights and avoid using the electrical system even if the power has been restored. You simply don’t know what type of damage has been done to the wiring, outlets, and appliances. Follow these steps to begin the clean up process safely:
- Make sure the electricity is shut off. Turn off the power at the breaker, and then check the power meter. If the meter is still running, you have a leak somewhere. Use extreme caution.
- Call a reputable water damage restoration company like ServiceMaster of North Texas to do a full inspection. They have the training and equipment to find and repair electrical problems caused by flooding.