You are able to protect yourself and your family in the case of the hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and lightning storms that destroy and injure thousands each year if you are knowledgeable about electrical safety during and after weather disasters.
“After severe weather is gone, electrical hazards can still cause deaths and injuries,” noted Brett Brenner, The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) president.
ESFI cautions consumers to stay away from electrical dangers associated with downed power lines, portable electric generators and wiring or appliances that have been wet. These precautions will help:
- Use care if stepping into flooded areas–whether indoors or outdoors. Submerged stores, electrical wires, and downed power lines can energize water, posing a lethal trap.
- Keep away from downed power lines and everything touching them.
- If you find someone who is in contact with a downed power line, don’t touch the person. You could become the next victim. Call Emergency services.
- Don’t drive over downed power lines.
- Have electricians install portable electric generators to make sure they meet local electrical codes and they are properly grounded. Improperly installed generators can “back feed” along power lines and electrocute crews trying to recover power.
- Keep the generator dry. Don’t operate it in enclosed or partially enclosed areas. Generators produce deadly carbon monoxide.
- Don’t overload an electrical generator; follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help you prevent electrocutions.
- Don’t use electrical wiring or equipment that has been wet. Contact a qualified service repair dealer in order to recondition electrical equipment; a licensed electrician can inspect electrical systems.
- To prevent lightning strikes, stay indoors and away from windows during storms.
- During electrical storms, don’t use corded telephones except for emergencies.
- Avoid contact with water and plumbing during electrical storms.
- When outdoors during electrical storms, go on to a low point. Keep away from metal items.
- Do not forget pets during thunderstorms. Doghouses aren’t safe from lightning. Chained pets can simply become victims of lightning strikes.