- Residents affected by flooding should beware the risk posed of damaged electrics
- Switch off electrics at the fuse box, only if it is absolutely safe to do so and only then move portable appliances away from affected areas
As parts of the UK suffer from extreme rainfall and storms following weeks of dry weather flood warnings have been issued across the country.
Flooded homes can pose various risks to residents, including an increased risk of dangerous electrical issues as a result of water damage to a property.
Experts at the charity Electrical Safety First have issued vital advice to those who may be affected by domestic flooding to ensure they reduce their risk from electric shock.
Giuseppe Capanna, Product Safety Engineer of Electrical Safety First, offers vital advice to residents who may already have been affected by flooding in the home, or those who may be affected by it, as severe weather sweeps the country.
“The flooding of a home is an awful ordeal for anyone to endure. Sentimental possessions can be destroyed and the financial strain can be heavy. Understandably residents looking to get back into their home may overlook the fact the property may be electrically unsafe if appliances and wiring are damaged by flood water, yet it is imperative to consider.”
“Appliances and plug sockets can be badly damaged by flood water and, depending on the severity of the flooding parts of the properties, wiring may be damaged. Always ensure that the electricity supply is turned off at the fuse box, only if safe to do so, to reduce the risk of electric shock in a flood. If the fuse box appears wet or damaged do not touch it and seek professional advice. Only if safe and the power supply is off, unplug damaged appliances and move smaller portable appliances away from the affected areas. Never attempt to use appliances that may have been damaged by the water and contact a registered electrician.”
- Switch off the electricity supply at the fuse box, if it is safe to do so. If there is evidence of water inside the fuse box or if there are signs of arcing or overheating, seek professional advice and do not attempt to touch it.
- Only if it is safe to do so and the power supply has been shut off, unplug damaged electrical appliances and move all portable ones away from the area affected by flooding.
- Arrange for other services, such as gas, to be switched off. Electricity and gas supplies should not be turned back on until you have had professional advice that it is safe to do so.
- Use a registered electrician to assess the condition and damage to electrical wiring, equipment and appliances that have been affected by the flood.
- Contact your insurance company, and landlord if applicable, for advice and to get approval to carry out any repairs. Take photos of the damage and keep records.
- Use any mains powered electrical appliances in areas affected by flooding until advised by a registered electrician that it is safe to do so.
- Attempt any repairs yourself or attempt to make the home safe if you are concerned about the state of any of the electrics or can see visible signs of damage.
- Go near any exposed wiring. It may still be live.
For more information on flooding visit our webpage: https://electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/flooding