Be Prepared: Floods
Basement flooding can happen anytime - even in the winter season. Electrical safety may not be your biggest priority during a flood, but shock and other hazards can become a big threat. Here are some things you should know if you ever find yourself with a submerged floor:
Before the flood: Install a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet if they’re not already in your basement. These are designed to shut off electrical power when it detects a loss of current. When water seeps into GFCI outlets, they will automatically shut off, reducing the risk of energizing the water and shock.
During the flood: If the flood has come in contact with any electrical appliances, you should avoid the water at all costs. The water could be charged, and has the potential to electrocute! Give your electric utility provider a call to turn off your breaker box, if to do so would mean you have to be in the water as well.
After the flood: Once you have called an electrician, and made sure all hazards have been cleared off, it’s time to determine what should be replaced. According to the ESFI (Electrical Safety Foundation International), you should replace:
Circuit breakers and fuses
All electrical wiring systems
Light switches, thermostats, outlets, light fixtures, electric heaters and ceiling fans
Furnace burner and blower motors, ignition transformers, elements, and relays for
furnaces and hot water tanks
Hot water tanks
Washing machines, dryers, furnaces, heat pumps, freezers, refrigerators, dehumidifiers,
vacuums, power tools, exercise equipment and similar appliances
Electronic equipment, including computers and home entertainment systems
Whether it’s before, during, or after a flood, Butler Electric can assist any time to ensure the electrical safety of your home.