Checking the electrical system of your home after a hurricane is important prior to making any attempt to clean and restore your house.
Safety First: Inspecting Your Home’s Electrical System Following A Hurricane
The aftermath of a hurricane can be devastating. When your house is flooded after a hurricane, it is important not to rush into cleaning it. Take extra caution and follow these tips on how you can safely conduct an electrical system inspection after a hurricane strikes your area:
- First off, never enter your flooded house until the flood water has receded.
- Avoid making any form of contact with the electrical system if there is any water surrounding your home. Never touch any electrical appliances with wet hands.
- Use your careful judgement as you make a visual inspection from a safe distance to check for any obvious signs and damages that could indicate your home is unsafe for you to re-enter.
- Look for sparks and frayed wires. Check for signs of broken circuits as well as submerged appliances which can potentially ignite a fire.
- If you think everything is stable, turn off power supply from your electrical panel. If the panel has signs of water penetration or water marks, use wood or non-conductive stick to turn off the switch. Also, make sure you are not stepping on the standing flood water or else, you risk getting electrocuted.
- Telephones and alarm systems can be dangerous too. Even with low voltage, they can still potentially cause electric shocks especially when you add water in the picture. Locate their main source to turn them off as they are typically powered by an independent source separate from your main power.
- Be wary about any burning smells or gas-like odors.
- Have a professional electrician check the condition of your circuit breakers to determine if they are still safe to use.
- For your safety, if your electrical wiring got submerged in water it would be best if you consider replacing them.
- To avoid injuries from electric shock use a portable GFCI or (Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter).
Remember, Water and Electricity Can Be a Deadly Mix!
If you ever doubt about the condition and the safety of your electrical system after the hurricane, it would be best to contact a licensed electrician to conduct an inspection for you. Never turn a submerged appliance on to test if it is still working, most of the time they’ll end up damaged and you’ll have to replace them anyway.