4 Rules for Electrical Safety After a Flood

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4 Rules for Electrical Safety After a Flood

Here we are once again in the heart of the hurricane and tropical storm season which means we can all use a refresher course in electricity and water safety. Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air knows there aren’t any beachfront homes in Auburn & Montgomery, AL but there is still danger. All we have to do is look back less than a year when Hurricane Michael moved inland into South Georgia causing great damage.

Flooding

The greatest danger we face in Eastern & Central Alabama from tropical systems is flooding caused by torrential rain. Much of the danger comes from the mix of water and electricity so let’s look at some key safety rules.

Slow & deliberate can keep you safe:

People often want to rush into their homes following a flood to save belongings and start the cleanup. It’s an understandable reaction but it’s also DANGEROUS. Do not go into a home, especially a flooded basement, until the utility company, fire department or licensed electrician has removed your electrical meter. You are only safe if your home has been disconnected from the electrical grid. Circuit breakers may not be able to protect you if they have been damaged by flooding.

Plan on replacing just about everything:

When it comes to the electrical system in your home submersion in water for even a short period of time should be considered a death sentence. The list includes:

  • Plastic sheathed wiring (Romex)
  • Armored cable (BX)
  • Panels & circuit breakers
  • Switches
  • Outlets
  • Motors
  • Blowers & fans
  • Lights

In all likelihood your heating and cooling systems will need replacing as well, but that’s a decision for your HVAC contractor. It may be possible to save some appliances like refrigerators and freezers but there is a risk. They can be dangerous to operate after a flood.

Grounding & bonding

There are two parts to a home’s electrical system. One carries electricity to fixtures and appliances. The other is designed to carry current safely to ground in the event of a problem. After flooding only a licensed electrician is qualified to evaluate the damage to both parts of the system.

Flooded buildings are dangerous places

We’re talking about more than electricity and water safety. Flooded buildings are dark, slippery, and disorienting. In the south there’s a risk of poisonous snakes carried inside by the flood water. Never go it alone. Have someone nearby to help if something does go wrong.

Call Dixie, and it’s done

Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air fervently hopes the hurricane season will pass without incident, but if you have a flooding situation for whatever reason, we are here to help. We have licensed plumbers, HVAC technicians, and electricians on staff and waiting to help. Just one phone call for all your home comfort needs. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more great information like this.