Keeping Your Family Safe After A Flood #safetysaveslives
If your house has been severely damaged by floodwaters, it is too late to save the equipment, but you can take precautions to keep your family safe. From the experts at Popular Mechanics, you can learn about the dangers of electric shock after a flood.
1. Never go into a flood-damaged basement or a basement filled with water until the utility company, fire department, or a licensed electrician has removed the home’s electrical meter from its socket. You can still be electrocuted in a flooded basement if someone is running a generator nearby and back-feeding electricity into a storm damaged grid. A storm-damaged circuit breaker or disconnected switch will not protect you. The safest option is to remove the meter.
2. Pay attention to grounding and bonding. Every home’s electrical system has 2 parts: (a) the parts designed to carry electrical current during normal operation, and the parts designed to carry current safely to ground should something go wrong. The latter is known as the home’s grounding and bonding system and it can be severely damaged by floodwaters. You will need a licensed electrician to evaluate the damage.
3. Never go into a flooded building alone. Buildings are dark, slippery, and disorienting. You can put yourself at risk of falling into an uncovered sump pit and getting tangled in unseen debris. When the area is safe and it is time for recovery, bring someone with you ensure your personal safety.
4. Replace equipment, don’t try to save it. Appliances can be extremely dangerous to operate after they’ve been flooded. All metal components of a home’s electrical system should be inspected and replaced if necessary. Any type of metal electrical box may rust and the rust on the box prevents an adequate connection to the home’s grounding system. A licensed air conditioning or a heating/cooling contractor can advise you whether your heating or cooling equipment can be salvaged.
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