Risk of electric shock sign. Photo by Nina Garman from photo website Pixabay. Risk of electric shock sign. Photo by Nina Garman from photo website Pixabay.

The terrible risk of being electrocuted in flood water … here are some vital safety tips

This week is Flood Action Week (Nov 9-15) and it’s well worth highlighting the deadly risk of electrocution during a flood if water gets into your house or business.

It’s vital ALL electrical equipment is switched off if your home or workplace starts to flood as it can end in tragedy.

This happened just a few days ago after Tropical Storm Eta struck in Florida, USA. Mark Mixon, 65, went into his laundry room – but 3 inches of water had flooded in and risen above the electric wires to his clothes dryer. He was electrocuted as soon as he came into contact with the water and is thought to have died instantly (https://www.tampabay.com/hurricane/2020/11/12/beach-resident-electrocuted-putting-out-sandbags-for-tropical-storm-eta-officials-say/).

So if your home or business is about to flood then turn off all power and unplug everything from the sockets. If you have been flooded and the water has gone above the electrical sockets then you need an electrician to check everything before you switch the power back on.

If your electrical appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, fridges and freezers been damaged by floodwater there is a high probability they will never be safe to use again and will need replacing. The same applies to all your electrical wiring which may have come into contact with water.

So here are vital safety tips to prevent the risk of electrocution during flooding. They have been drawn up by the Safe Electricty.Org (https://safeelectricity.org/flooding-provides-set-electrical-hazards/) and are:

*Never step into a flooded basement or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords. The water could be energised and could shock or electrocute you. 

*Never attempt to turn off power at the circuit breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you can’t reach your breaker box safely, call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter. 

*If an electrical appliance has been in contact with water have a professional check it out before it is used. It may need to be repaired or replaced. 

*Never use electric appliances or touch electric wires, switches or fuses when you’re wet or when you’re standing in water. 

*Keep electric tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from wet surfaces. Do not use electric yard tools if it’s raining or the ground is wet.