May is National Electrical Safety Month
Electricity drives the modern world and we often take it for granted. And if a natural disaster occurs, there’s a few things to remember to stay electrically safe during the storm.
Before the storm hits, make sure to charge all phones and other communication devices. Then, unplug all electronics, and move them as high as possible to avoid water damage from flooding.
Turn of the main power breaker feeding the home to prevent any surges to the wiring and equipment.
After the storm blows through, and you begin to evaluate the aftermath, it’s important to avoid flooded areas as they may be electrified.
Do not use any electrical equipment or electronics if they’ve been submerged.
If flooding has occurred, have the electrical system inspected by a qualified electrical inspector.
If you’re using a qualified generator, ensure a qualified electrician installed it and make sure to use a listed and approved transfer switch and GFCI protection.
It’s a good idea to protect your home with carbon monoxide detectors.
When venturing outside, be very alert of your surroundings. If you encounter a fallen power line, stay at least 35 feet away. Avoid touching any objects the line may be laying on such as a fence, a car, or a light pole as the object could be energized.
If others are around, alert them to stay away and call 911.
While storms can be devastating to a community, the aftermath can be challenging. However, could be an opportunity to renovate and upgrade your main power source with renewable energy such as solar.
Floodwaters and heavy winds aren’t the only hazards during a storm. That’s why it’s important to treat electricity with extreme caution.
Downed power lines can be deadly. ALWAYS assume a downed power line is live and avoid going near it or anything in contact with it.
- Downed power lines can energize the ground up to 35 feet away. Even more in wet conditions.
- Never drive over downed power lines or through water that is in contact with them
- Never try to move a downed power line. Even using items that typically are not conductive will not prevent injury or death
- If you see a downed line call 911
If a vehicle contacts a power line or utility pole stay away and call 911
- Consider all lines to be live and dangerous
- Stay in place or inside your vehicle unless you see fire or smoke
- Warn others to stay at least 35 feet away
- Tell others not to approach vehicle, downed lines, or anything that may be in contact with downed lines
- Call 911
In the Event of Fire or Smoke
- Do not touch the ground and vehicle at the same time
- Jump from vehicle with your feet together
- Shuffle away, avoid lifting your feet