We are in a current wet season a time when it is important to stay safe around electricity during a flood. There are many obvious risks to consider during a flood, which can be caused by compromised electrical systems and downed power line. From electrical fires to electric shock even death, are the dangers associated with live electricity during a flood. The combination of water and electricity pose a notorious electrical safety hazard, whether due to a natural flood event or a water leak in your home or commercial building. There are serious possibilities of electrocution from water damaged appliances, during or after a flood incident. We tend to often neglect the potential of an electrical accident during or after a flood. It is quite understandable that the victims of flooding often have their minds on the loss and damage caused by the flood than their actual safety especially when close to buildings under high tension wires. Any flooding incident requires specific electrical safety precautions.
How to stay safe during the flood
Many of us are under the threat of flooding on a regular basis. You should consider making plans to lessen the effect of flooding in your homes and prevent electrical hazards. Installing a ground fault circuit interrupters can cut off power instantly when your home is about to be flooded. Here are some tips to follow to prevent electrical hazard:
- Don’t stand in water that covers electrical outlets and devices. Water and electricity do not mix. The water could be charged with a lethal amount of electric current.
- Never stand in water near downed power lines, avoid them. Standing in water close to a downed power line is likely to cause electrocution and throw you off balance with great speed.
- Do not go near or interfere with electrical installations which are submerged in flood water. These electrical installations become deadly after they come in contact with water, extreme care should be taken to avoid electrocution or any other electrical hazards.
- Turn off your main power switch or power from the breaker box. But do not attempt to turn off once the water has entered the building, when you are wet or standing in water.
- Keep all electric appliances 10 feet away from wet surfaces. Do not attempt to do so with wet hands.
- Be on the alert for any sparks or buzzing noises, and avoid areas where you see sparks or hear buzzing noises.
After the flood
Prolonged exposure to lingering water, damages your electrical appliances and leaves them prone to the risk of electric shock or electrical fires. However, water damaged electrical appliances are not safe to use again, whether they were submerged or partially submerged in the flood water. Electrical appliances exposed to flood water can be extremely dangerous if re-energized without proper reconditioning or replacement. Here are some tips to follow:
- Do not enter flooded buildings that may contain energized electrical wiring or appliances.
- If your home has been flooded, electrical hazards may exist long after the water recedes. Even if water is not visible in the building, the interior structure may be soaked and still prone to an electrical hazard.
- Stay clear of anything that can conduct an electric current such at as metal pipes, metal ladders, and even damp wood.
- Do not assume any flooded area is safe. Take extra caution while walking down any flooded area.
Note: After the event of a flood in your home, make sure you consult a professional electrician to verify the safety of your electrical appliances, large or small. Stay safe.