Harsh summer storms can intensify electrical hazards in and around your home. Stay safe before, during, and after the storm with these tips
Before the Storm:
Go inside! A home or building is the safest place, but if that is not available, a car with all the windows closed will keep you safe.
If you have notice of an incoming storm, unplug electronics before it arrives. If the storm is active, do not touch the cords or outlets.
If you purchase a portable generator, have it professionally installed. An electrician can ensure that the unit is properly grounded and meets all applicable codes. You should not be plugging a generator directly into a home outlet or operate it in an enclosed space, like a garage.
To be prepared for a power outage, have flashlights or candles readily available and in an easy-to-find location.
Utilize surge protectors to save your electronics from a potential lightning strike. This is especially important for computers and other sensitive electronics. Consider whole house surge protection if you have new applicances with electronic controls.
During the Storm:
Stay away from windows and doors to avoid lightning strikes.
Don’t get in the shower. Although often shrugged of as an “old wives tale,” it is actually best to avoid contact with water and plumbing.
Avoid touching metal doors or window frames as they can conduct electricity easily.
After the Storm:
Do not go near downed power lines. Do not touch anything that is touching the power line including water, do not attempt to move it, and do not drive over it. Always report downed power lines to 911.
If your home is flooded, your electrical system will be affected. The outlets, circuit breakers, and ground circuit interrupters (GFCIs) could all be impacted and may need to be replaced by a professional.
If your appliances are damaged by water or a lightning strike, the electrical equipment can malfunction and should be inspected by a professional.