If you’ve never been through a major flood or a devastating storm you would be one of the lucky minority. Most experienced electricians would tell you that there are specific safety procedures that should be undertaken, especially during a flood that will help to keep you safe and thus, healthy.
Anyone can be at risk in a flood or a storm, especially when it is really severe and if the flood water actually comes into the house. Thankfully, there is usually enough warning of floods that people have time to prepare so they can stay safe and healthy throughout their ordeal. Here are some tips to help you prepare and avoid unnecessary risks during a flood or storm.
- Have safety switches installed on all the circuits on your switchboard. Make sure they are working by testing them regularly.
- Install a surge protector to reduce damage to sensitive equipment from spikes in the power caused by lightning strikes.
- Important appliances should all be run on power-boards that have surge protection. You can also get protection for the modem and phone like in this way.
- All appliances that are not needed should be switched off and unplugged from the wall before the storm hits. This includes the computer which is still vulnerable even if it is switched off, but not unplugged.
- An uninterruptable power supply is a wonderful piece of equipment, allowing you time to power down your computer properly when the power goes off unexpectedly. It also protects the computer from spikes and brownouts. Some will even do it automatically if you are not in the office at the time.
- For flood warnings, store all your appliances up higher than the expected flood level. That said, don’t place it on the refrigerator or a table as these things can easily be tipped over with the force of the flood waters swirling. A high built-in shelf is more suitable.
- If you have solar power, switch if off as you’ve been shown.
- Turn off the main switch in the power box before the flood waters arrive. But if it’s underwater – or has been – don’t touch it until an electrician has checked in out and told you it’s okay.
- Never stand in the flood water to operate any electric device – or with bare feet at any time.
- Don’t get onto the roof if you have solar panels unless there is no choice. Even though all the power has been switched off, panels keep generating it, so there could well be dangerous live wires in the home due the flood damage. Fixed wire phones are also able to transmit a shock.
- During the flood or storm keep away from all electrical wires and appliances.