As the myth or truth of global warming continues, the reality of rising water tables are evident across the UK. Over recent years there have been many homes devastated by flooding. It can be a terrifying experience, but in such a situation preparation is important. Reading an article like this can make a difference, as we aim to give you the knowledge and skills to make the right decisions. And you never know when you may need this. In this article we present a clear and concise guide to what to do and what not to do after your home has been flooded. Please note that this is from an electrical safety perspective.
After a flood occurs you or your relatives may want to enter back into the home. This is understandable, however this needs to be approached with caution. The first thing to note is that water and electricity can be a deadly combination. In addition, water can cause a lot of damage which may be seen, or may be unseen by someone who is not a trained electrician. Finally it should be noted that because of such a big change, any electrical tests that you may have done will become invalid, so you should treat the house as if it has not been tested yet.
Tips for keeping safe after a flood
Turn off the electricity
If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity from the mains. Do not turn the electricity back on until a professional has reviewed and tested the electrical system and is happy with the results.
Unplug damaged electrical appliances
If any of your electrical appliances seem as though they may be damaged then they need to be unplugged immediately.
Move portable electrical appliances
If you have electrical devices that are easily portable then remove them from the flooded area, this will help preserve them.
Arrange for gas to be switched off
In the same way as your electricity the Gas needs to be switched off. And do not switch it back on until a professional has tested it and has confirmed that it is safe to do so.
Do not use candles
As tempting as it might be to use candles, it should be known that candles come with a risk of fire. And it is important for professionals to carry out an impact assessment before any such items are used.
Periodic inspection is needed
You will be itching to get into your house and restore it. However sometimes the effects are not immediately clear. Hence it is important to organise periodic inspections of your electric system and appliances.
If there is major flood damage to the electrics caused by water that may be clean or contaminated, it is important that you find a professional to rewire.
Test your appliances
All of the appliances affected need to be tested to make sure they are safe for use. There is no exception to this.