Home safety in flood situations - Protect your gas and electrical appliances and systems

    NEW WESTMINSTER, BC, March 16 /CNW/ - With snow melts and spring rains
threatening to flood parts of the province, the British Columbia Safety
Authority reminds residents that now is the time to take steps to protect your
home's electrical equipment and natural or propane gas piping and appliances
from damage caused by water and contaminants.

    In advance of a flood

    If you have enough advance warning, have a licensed contractor remove hot
water tanks, clothes dryers and ranges, and cap the gas pipe leading to the
appliance shut off valve. Also, remove the electric motor, burner and controls
from your furnace and shut off the gas and electrical supply. Move as much
electrical equipment as possible to floors or areas above the anticipated
flood level.

    Before you evacuate

    If you have to leave your home unexpectedly because of immediate flooding
and don't have advance notice, be sure to do the following:

    -   Turn off the service valve at the gas meter or propane tank and the
        gas shut off valve on all gas appliances.

    -   Shut off all electrical power by turning off the main service switch,
        and turn off the power to each electrical appliance

    -   Do not drain hot water tanks - just shut off the water leading to and
        from the tank

    For information about cleaning up, reconnecting and returning home after
a flood, call the BC Safety Authority's toll free line at 1-866-566-SAFE
(7233) or visit www.safetyauthority.ca (under safety information - public
safety tips).
    Information about flooding is also available from the Provincial
Emergency Program, BC Hydro and Terasen Gas websites.

    The BC Safety Authority is an independent, not-for-profit corporation
that provides cost-effective and essential safety services to business,
industry and the general public.

For further information:

For further information: Roger Young, Leader, Public Affairs and
Marketing, BC Safety Authority, (604) 660-6235; Andrea Freer, Contemporary
Communications Ltd., (604) 734-3663

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