Electrical Safety and Water Damaged Electrical Equipment

Background

Electrical equipment and wiring that has been exposed to water through flooding, fire fighting activities, etc may be dangerous if energized without proper evaluation and reconditioning or replacement by qualified persons.
 

What do I do before evacuation?

Any area where immediate flooding is anticipated, it is essential to shut off all electrical power by turning off the main service switch.  If there is time, move as much electrical equipment as possible to floors or areas above the anticipated flood level. It is important not only to be prepared for the flooding, but to make preparations for normal living after the flood had subsided.  Note: Always have a flashlight and batteries ready – flooding may occur at night.
 

Returning home after a flood

Extreme precautions must be observed when returning home to a flood damaged area. Stay well clear of any electrical power wires.  Electricity can travel through water.  You should immediately report any downed wires to Lowell Light and Power and/or call 911.  No part of a flooded installation can be assumed to be safe, not even the main switch or circuit breaker.  Before the equipment is tested or worked on, all power should be disconnected.  If the main switch was left in the “on” position, contact Lowell Light and Power to ensure power to the building is off before attempting to access the panel. Call a licensed electrical contractor to assess the damage to ensure your safety.
 

Additional considerations for homeowners

Remove dangerous chemicals such as weed killers, insecticides and corrosives to dry areas to reduce the chance of contaminating electrical equipment.  Shut off all electrical power and the gas supply valve to any gas-fired appliance prior to flooding, if possible.  Shut off the electrical supply to all oil-fired equipment.
 
Contact Lowell Light and Power @ 616-897-8402
Our staff is available 24hrs a day, 365 days a year
 
If you have downed power lines call 911.

Lowell Light & Power

127 N. Broadway  •  Lowell, MI 49331  •  Phone: 616.897.8402  •  Fax: 616.897.4082  •  www.lowell-light.org

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