Electrical Safety Tips to Follow After Flooding in a Home

Flooding in a home is among the most stressful things that can happen to a homeowner. In the immediate aftermath, it’s natural to want to get inside and start getting things back to normal right away. However, flooding also means water and electrical components come into contact–a very dangerous mix. It’s crucial to take steps to protect yourself before getting down to business. Keep the following points in mind to stay safe:

  • Don’t enter the home until it’s been disconnected from the grid – Electrocution is still a major risk even when the power is out in a home. All it takes is someone operating a generator nearby and back feeding electricity into a storm-damaged grid. This causes damage to disconnected switches and circuit breakers–the very components that are designed to protect you. To ensure safety, the home’s electrical meter must be removed from the socket, which is a job for a licensed electrician, the fire department or the utility company.
  • Never enter a flooded home alone – Even after the meter has been disconnected, never enter a flooded home by yourself. In such a dark, wet environment, it’s all too easy to get seriously hurt–or even killed. Bring someone along to stand by in case something goes awry, and wear chest waders and a clip-on flashlight for optimal safety.
  • Be cautious with electrical equipment – After things have dried up a bit, you’ll hope against hope that your electrical equipment and appliances still work. Chances are that most won’t. Very few household items are designed to survive even brief submersion. Everything from fuse boxes to fans and blowers are likely to be completely destroyed. The heating and cooling system may be damaged too, and a licensed contractor can tell you for sure. Even when electrical appliances appear to have survived, they are often dangerous to operate, so take care using them as well.
  • Have the grounding and bonding system checked – In addition to the electrical system used for normal operation, a home has a grounding and bonding system that carries currents to the ground if something goes wrong. It is a crucial safety feature, and it should be checked by a licensed electrician right away. If it is damaged enough, it may not function properly and could put your entire family at risk.

As upsetting as a flooded home or basement can be, it can be handled and put behind you. In the meantime, however, make safety a top priority. Fixing things up is important, but avoiding electrocution is even more crucial. When in doubt, always have a licensed professional look things over. With electricity, there aren’t often second chances. As far as your restoration needs go, Paul Davis has you covered in northeast Indiana. Visit our website today to learn more.