Storms can cause a variety of dangers and harm, but the key among them is electrical hazards. With rain and windstorms come the potential for downed power lines, flooding, and loose electrical wiring in homes. These can cause a lot of danger and damage to property if you don’t take safety precautions beforehand.
Here are some practical steps you can follow to stay safe from electrical hazards that may arise during a storm.
Prepare For The Storm In Advance
Protecting yourself and your home from electrical hazards during a storm starts with planning ahead. Make sure you’re aware of any outdoor electrical appliances, like generators, pumps, and lawnmowers, that may need to be disconnected or covered up in the event of strong winds.
If there is an extended power outage, switch off major appliances such as refrigerators. And don’t forget about your emergency kit; make sure it’s stocked with items such as flashlights and battery-powered, which you can find in stores offering electrical solutions for the home. You can also get radios to stay connected and call for help if needed.
Turn Off Utilities
You should turn off utilities like water, electricity, and gas to stay safe. When these utilities are left on during a storm, there is an increased risk of electrical fires, power surges, and similar hazardous events.
In addition, turning off utilities during a storm can also save your appliances from damage and help conserve energy, as more demand on limited resources can cause outages.
Don’t Use Any Wet Electrical Appliances
During a storm, it’s important to avoid using wet electrical appliances like hairdryers, straighteners, irons, and many others. This is because water conducts electricity, meaning you could get electrocuted when you touch your appliance while standing on a damp floor.
Even if the appliance itself isn’t wet and you remain dry, it will draw electricity from the plug, and there is a chance that your plug socket has come into contact with excess moisture in the air or on the walls. For these reasons, it’s vital to avoid using wet electrical appliances during a storm.
Avoid Flooded Areas
It is important to avoid flooded areas as flooding can damage power lines and other electrical components such as circuit breakers or generators. If any of these items become submerged in water, it can create a dangerous situation where the wiring becomes exposed, and electrical shock is possible without your knowledge.
Further, the risk could be even higher if the equipment contains combustible materials such as gasoline.
Stay Away From Downed Power Lines
A downed power line is one of the most dangerous electrical hazards during a storm.
It is important to stay away from downed power lines because of the potential for electrocution. You must be more vigilant during a storm as the downed lines can be hidden under debris or in an unexpected spot.
Electrical power lines contain a high electricity voltage, sometimes as much as 20,000 volts or more, and can continue supplying this voltage even after the power has been shut off. Downed power lines can easily lead to electrical fires and fatalities.
Because of the risk of electric shock, if someone were to touch them even briefly, it is best to avoid them altogether. Additionally, it is unsafe to drive over downed lines and could result in serious damage to your vehicle and possibly even you if there is contact with the line.
Have An Electrical Safety Plan
An Electrical Safety Plan is essential for keeping your family and friends safe in an emergency such as a storm. This plan should include guidelines specific to the area in which you live so that you can be prepared in advance for any electrical safety risks.
It’s important to recognize potential threats ahead of time, like lightning strikes or downed power lines, and be ready with procedures to follow if they occur. Additionally, an Electronics Safety Plan should consider the electronic equipment in your home, such as appliances and electronics.
The electrical safety plan should also contain a plan or instructions on where to go if electrical hazards arise, like away from windows and other objects that could be broken by wind or hail. It should also detail how to handle or protect appliances should your home lose power safely.
Preparing for a storm can be the difference between life and death. Following the above simple tips can keep you and your loved ones safe from electrical hazards during a storm. Be sure to create an Electrical Safety Plan and share it with everyone staying at your place for the safety of all.