Electrical safety tips for when flooding and stormy weather hit

MISSISSAUGA, ON, July 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Electrical equipment and wiring that has been exposed to water through flooding may be dangerous if re-energized without proper evaluation and reconditioning or replacement by qualified persons.

Electrical Equipment - impacted by flood water could be unsafe, this includes the main breaker. Power should be disconnected at the service by ensuring that the main switch is left in the "off" position until all electrical equipment has been tested. In the event that flood water has risen above outlets, covers powercords, or is near the service panel you should contact your Local Distribution Company and arrange for them to disconnect power to your home. Once power has been turned off or disconnected a licensed electrical contractor should be contacted to determine if electrical equipment (wires, plugs) need to be replaced.

Do not plug in or attempt to use electrical appliances that have been wet until they have been checked or serviced by a licensed electrical contractor or service agency. Ask your contractor, or contact the manufacturer or dealer for the nearest service location.

Portable Generators - should not be connected to electrical appliances or wiring components that have been impacted by flood water. Portable generators can cause electrical hazards if connected or used incorrectly. Check your generator and all component parts to ensure that they have been approved by a recognized certification agency. Portable generators that are hard wired into your electrical wiring are required to have a transfer device to protect your home and the utility system. In addition, hardwired generator installations must be inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority to ensure they comply with Ontario Electrical Safety Code requirements. Portable Generators should only be used in well ventilated areas. For more information on portable generator safety and certification requirements visit www.esasafe.com.

Upon returning home after a flood homeowners should stay a minimum of 35 feet away from downed powerlines and immediately report these to the Local Distribution Company.

In the event of a powerline emergency call 911 and your Local Distribution Company.
Ontario's Electrical Safety Code requires generators to be connected to a wiring system with an approved transfer device. The device prevents Utility power from entering your home when a generator is in use; and prevents generator power from flowing back onto the Utility system.

For additional storm safety information visit www.esasafe.com

SOURCE: Electrical Safety Authority

For further information:

Kara Fraser
Electrical Safety Authority


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