Electrical safety during hurricane season
Hurricane Florence is no longer a hurricane, but other ferocious storms will likely make an appearance during hurricane season. Among the hazards associated with hurricanes are electrical dangers. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says the following electrical safety tips that can help reduce the risk for injury and damage to homes:
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so by authorities, and turn off propane tanks.
- Stay out of flood waters, if possible, and do not drive into flooded areas. Even water only several inches deep can be dangerous.
- Treat all downed wires as if they are live even if you don’t see any sparks, and especially if there is standing water nearby. Alert authorities immediately if you see downed wires in your area.
- If your home has experienced flooding, it’s important to keep your power off until a professional electrician has inspected your entire home for safety, including appliances. Water can damage the internal components in electrical appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers, and cause shock and fire hazards. Have a qualified electrician visit your home and determine what electrical equipment should be replaced and what can be reconditioned.
- If you smell gas in your home or neighborhood, notify emergency authorities immediately. Do not turn on lights, light matches, or engage in any activity that could create a spark.
- In the event that electricity may not be available to your home yet and you have not experienced any water in your home, generators are a viable option to power some of your small appliances. However, if used improperly, they also pose a fire hazard, risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and electrocution.
As communities engage in emergency preparedness efforts now and throughout the fall months, visit www.nfpa.org/disaster to learn more and to download tip sheets about generator safety, escape planning, building an emergency supplies kit, and more.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research, and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
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