Water and electricity are a dangerous mix. When flooding occurs within a home or building, electrical systems and components make the situation much more complicated. Live electricity increases the risk of injury and even death with powerful electric shocks, and it can also increase the damage to your property. It is common for any type of disaster to present electrical safety issues, but few are more dangerous than the mix of flood water and live electricity. If you are faced with flooding in your home or building, it is extremely important for you to follow these electrical safety tips to keep yourself protected from electric shock.
During the Flood
During a flood, it is easy to forget about the potential danger of the electrical system. However, live electricity is one of the most dangerous elements of dealing with indoor flooding. You must approach all electrical equipment, appliances, and outlets with extreme caution. The following tips will help you protect yourself from electric shock during a flood:
- Do not walk through standing water that covers electrical equipment or outlets. There could be enough of an electrical current in the water to cause a deadly electric shock.
- Stay away from downed power lines and call the local power provider right away to let them know.
- Do not walk in areas where you hear buzzing and popping or see sparks.
- Pay attention to odors. If there is a burning plastic smell, there could be an electrical fire.
- Do not use appliances or electrical equipment affected by the flooding unless an electrician has inspected them and cleared them for use.
- Review and follow the electrical safety suggestions from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).
After the Flood
Just because the flood water has been removed from your property, that doesn’t mean the threat of an electric shock is gone. Any residual moisture can still make your electrical system and components very dangerous. They may still cause electric shocks or fires, and experience rust and corrosion from the moisture. It is very important to call an electrician or inspector after a flood to evaluate the damage to your electrical system and determine what needs to be done. The following components may need to be replaced:
- Wires, circuits, outlets, and switches
- Light and ceiling fixtures
- HVAC equipment and water heaters
- Major appliances
If your home or business in the New York City area is affected by flooding or a major storm, make sure you follow these electrical safety tips and contact ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete for flood damage restoration. Our professionals will effectively clean up the flood water and we know how to safely deal with any potential electrical issues. Remember, electrical issues can come up anytime, even without a disaster, so always make sure you use your electronics safely.