Devastating flooding has been in the headlines more often than we’d like. Just when many of our neighbors in South Carolina had recovered from last year’s floods, they’re dealing with more damage from Hurricane Matthew. Seeing this happen twice in two years may make you wonder what you would do if this happened to you. Your electrical system may not be the first thing you think of. However, you should! Here’s some advice from a residential electrician on what to do if your home is flooded.

If your home is flooded, either from a natural disaster or a broken pipe, your first instinct is to go and observe the damage. But please do it safely! Once the waters have receded, call a residential electrician to shut off the electricity to your entire home. They may remove your electric meter altogether. That sounds like an extreme step, but it’s the best way to make sure no electricity is making its way into a flooded home.

Why is this so important? Wiring or electrical components could come in contact with the standing water or damp floors in your home. This presents a huge safety hazard. Never, ever enter a flooded home until you’ve gotten the all-clear. This can come from an electrician, your utility company, and/or your local fire department.

Next, dispose of any electrical equipment that came in contact with flood waters. This includes wiring, cables, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, electrical panels, switches, receptacles, circuit boards, appliances, electronics, lights, heaters, air conditioners, or fans. Again, a licensed residential electrician can help with this process.

Finally, get an electrician to thoroughly inspect your entire home. This includes your grounding and bonding systems. These systems work to keep your home safe in the event of a power surge or lightning strike. You’ll definitely want to make sure they’re working properly.

The residential electricians at Polk Electric want you to always put safety first. Never go into a flooded property by yourself, even after the power’s been turned off. Call us for help if you’ve had any type of flooding. It doesn’t matter if the water came from a burst pipe or a flash flood. We’ll help make sure your home is safe for you and your family.