Electrical Safety Measures during a Flood
DO NOT TOUCH ANY ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT IF YOUR FEET ARE IN WATER OR IN A FLOODED ROOM. DO NOY TRY AND TURN OFF ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT BREAKERS IF YOU ARE STANDING IN WATER.
1. Try to wear rubber boots and gloves at all times to prevent electric shocks. Make or purchase electrical testing equipment to see if water contains electrical leaks (see links on below).
2. Move all electrical appliances to dry areas before flooding occurs. If during a flood, please be careful of some electrical appliances which use capacitors (such as TVs or Microwaves, etc) which will still contain electricity after they are unplugged. Some more bulky appliances such as refrigerators can be emptied and laid face down (please note that this may damage their handle). This will protect their electronics and compressor from water damage. Some refrigerators will even float.
3. Cover power outlets (including telephone and TV) and switches with electrical tape. This will not prevent water going into the outlets or switches but will prevent mud and dirt accumulation.
4. Remove from their support frames smart switches, touch screens and other smart home automation devices which will be completely ruined when they come in contact with water.
5. Close the electrical distribution to your building. Each unit is usually equipped with a distribution box that contains electrical breakers. There are usually two kinds of breakers in such a box. The first is the main breaker used to cut the electricity in the whole house this is usually larger and placed above or to the left of other breakers) and second is the sub breaker used to cut specific areas or groups. When possible (please check your box carefully) you can selectively turn off areas or groups in the flooded areas and keep electricity alive in the dry areas of your house. If water approaches the distribution box itself you need to close all breakers immediately. DO NOT TOUCH DISTRIBUTION BOX IF YOUR FEET ARE IN WATER OR THE FLOOR IS WET.
6. When power is cut in the street you need to turn off all breakers in your house to avoid electrocution when power is restored to the street.
7. If all breakers are closed and you see your electrical meter running please proceed with extreme caution as a leak is occurring somewhere.
8. After the floods, do not enter your house if electricity is being discharged, proceed with extreme caution and contact a professional to help restore damaged electrical equipment before powering on the house. Let unpowered equipment dry for several days before cleaning. Throw away water damaged electrical equipment such as breakers which are not safe for further use.
9. You can contact the Metropolitan or Provincial Electricity Authority (MEA – PEA) on 1130 or 1129 for information on power supply to your area.
Flood Safety Tips
Home made solutions for electrical leakage testing