October 18, 2022

Electrical safety during a flood

Flooding can cause extensive water damage in a home that can lead to weeks or months of repairs. When faced with a flooding event you should be aware of the hazards caused by water exposure to electrical wiring, appliances, and equipment – electricity and water don’t mix and are in fact a dangerous combination.

Image for Electrical safety during a flood - Woman holding bucket

Here are electrical safety tips to keep in mind in case of a flood in your home.

  • If there is a flood warning in your area and your home is susceptible, move any electrical appliances or other equipment from the basement or other at-risk rooms to a higher location, out of the water’s reach.
  • Do not step into your basement or any other flooded rooms if water is in contact with electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, your furnace, appliances, or power cords, or is near your electrical panel. The water may be energized, and you risk shock or electrocution. Call Elexicon Energy or your electrical utility to shut off the power to your home at the meter.
  • If your breaker box is in a flooded area, do not try to turn off the power if you must stand in the water to reach the switch. Again, call your utility to disconnect the power.
  • Do not touch plugged in electrical appliances, or wires, switches, and fuses when standing in water or if you are wet from rain or flood water.
  • Water can damage electrical appliances that have been fully or even partially submerged. Before using any equipment subjected to water, have it examined by a professional to determine if it needs repair or should be replaced.
  • If flooding may have damaged your electrical system, hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to inspect it. The contractor can determine if it is safe to restore power to your home or if the system needs repairs and can perform the required work. Do not attempt any repairs yourself.

No one wants to face the stress and expense of a flood in their home. But should this occur, keep your family safe by being aware of the electrical hazards caused by flood waters.

For more information, visit the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) Flood Safety.