Electricity after a Flood: Five Tips to Keep You Safe

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If any part of your home has been flooded, your electrical system may be compromised. To ensure your safety, follow these electrical safety rules after any flooding. Depending on the amount of flooding you have experienced, here are five things you should do:

1. Wear rubber waders or thick rubber-sole shoes when entering flooded areas

If your entire home has been flooded, you should not enter it until you have had a trained electrical professional look over everything. However, if you just have a bit of standing water in the basement, you may be able to enter that area safely.

Before entering the area, make sure you have rubber-soled shoes or rubber waders on that are higher than the level of the water. That layer of rubber should insulate you from electrical currents as you start to survey the damage. Obviously, never touch any exposed wires regardless of your footwear.

2. Disconnect your home from the grid

Many people think they can just turn off their own power and they are safe from electrocution while exploring their flooded home. However, in times of intense flooding, you actually need to have an electrician disconnect your entire home from the main power grid.

Unfortunately, elements such as circuit breakers or disconnect switches – which can stop power surges from other homes from entering your home – may get damaged in a flood. That means that even if your home doesn't have power, electricity from someone else's generator or other electrical source may surge into your home.

4. Have an electrician look over everything before you turn back on the electricity

No electrical items are made to be submerged. That means that everything from your wires to your outlets to your light switches to your home appliances may need to be replaced. Before using any of these items, get clearance from your electrician. You may also want to have an HVAC specialist look at your heating and cooling units and have an appliance repair person look at your appliances.

5. Remember your entire electrical system may have been compromised

Unfortunately, even if only your basement has flooded, the rest of your home may have been affected. Do not assume you can use your electrics upstairs simply because the basement was the only place flooded.

Remember floods can impact your entire electrical system. As a result, you still need to have everything checked by an emergency electrician such as East Hawthorn Electrical Services before you use anything.