Currently there are over 100 flood warnings in Britain. With more snow and bad weather set to come it is important we are made aware of how to react and cope once flood waters damage property. This article below from the Electrical Safety Council gives some great advice.
As soon as the flood water has subsided:
• Make sure the property is safe before you enter.
• Try to avoid direct contact with any water which remains. It may be contaminated.
• Have a torch at hand when entering the property.
• 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.
• 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.
The main switch is normally the switch as shown in the photograph above and cuts off all the power to the circuit breakers/ fuses.
• Use candles to guide you when entering the property.
• Use any mains powered electrical appliances in areas affected by flooding until advised by a registered electrician that it is safe to do so.
• Go near any exposed wiring. It may still be live.
• Start to clean up or carry out repairs until you are sure it is safe to do so.
Cleaning up and making repairs
• 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
• Seek professional advice about the restoration of your property and hire appropriate and qualified professionals to undertake the repair work
• Use a registered electrician to assess the condition and damage to electrical wiring, equipment and appliances that have been affected by the flood.
Electrical Safety Advice
Do not attempt any electrical repairs or connection of temporary supplies yourself – always use a registered electrician:
• Arrange for a periodic inspection and test to be carried out on the property. The registered electrician will issue you with an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which will identify the condition of the wiring and equipment in need of repair.
• All of the portable appliances affected by the flood will need to be tested to make sure that they are safe for continued use.
• Fixed equipment, such as electric cookers, storage heaters, boilers etc. should also be tested.
• If the water damage to electrics is relatively minor and caused by clean water, i.e. a burst water pipe or tank, then it is likely that the registered electrician will just need to dry out cables and replace any accessories affected by the water (sockets, switches, plugs etc.).
• If there is major flood damage to the electrics caused by clean or contaminated water, then it is likely that parts of the electrical installation will need to be rewired.
• When rewiring is necessary, ask the registered electrician about the possibility of raising the height of the newly installed electrical equipment, including raising the fuse box and sockets to above any future expected flood level.
Source : Electrical Safety Council
If your home has been affected by water damage please ensure your electrics are safe. Call us today on 0800 118 2568 or email us at: email@example.com for some advice and a home visit to see how we can help you.
13th January 2014