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11 Jul, 2024
Posted by tyleramcgrath@gmail.com
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How to Stay Safe from Electrical Hazards During a Storm

Storms can bring powerful winds, heavy rain, and dangerous lightning, creating numerous electrical hazards. Staying safe during such events requires knowledge and precautionary measures. This blog post will guide you on how to stay safe from electrical hazards during a storm, the dangers of floods carrying electrical currents, how to report downed power lines, and the safety of driving over downed power lines.

How to Stay Safe from Electrical Hazards During a Storm

  1. Unplug Appliances

Why: Electrical surges caused by lightning can damage appliances and pose fire hazards.

Action: Unplug sensitive electronics such as computers, TVs, and kitchen appliances. Use surge protectors for added safety.

  1. Avoid Using Electrical Devices

Why: Using electrical devices during a storm can increase the risk of electrical shock if lightning strikes.

Action: Refrain from using corded phones, computers, and other wired electronics. Use mobile devices if necessary.

  1. Stay Away from Water Sources

Why: Water conducts electricity, and using plumbing fixtures during a storm can be dangerous.

Action: Avoid baths, showers, and using sinks during a storm. Wait until the storm has completely passed.

  1. Stay Indoors

Why: Lightning strikes are more likely to occur outdoors, posing a direct risk.

Action: Stay inside a sturdy building during a storm. Avoid windows, doors, and porches.

  1. Use Battery-Powered Devices

Why: Battery-powered devices are safe to use during electrical storms and power outages.

Action: Keep flashlights and battery-powered radios handy to stay informed and maintain lighting.

Are Floods Dangerous in Terms of Carrying Electrical Currents?

Flood Risks

Floods can be extremely dangerous due to their ability to carry electrical currents. Water in contact with live electrical wires or equipment can conduct electricity, posing severe risks of electric shock.

Safety Measures

  • Avoid Standing Water: Never enter flooded areas where electrical outlets, wires, or equipment may be submerged.
  • Turn Off Power: If flooding is imminent, turn off the electrical power to your home from the main breaker if it’s safe to do so.
  • Professional Help: Have a qualified electrician inspect your home’s electrical system if it has been affected by flooding.

How to Report Downed Power Lines in Your Neighborhood

  1. Stay Clear

Why: Downed power lines are extremely dangerous and can carry lethal voltages.

Action: Maintain a safe distance of at least 30 feet from the downed lines and anything they may be touching.

  1. Contact Authorities

Why: Prompt reporting ensures a quick response and mitigation of hazards.

Action: Call your local utility company immediately to report downed power lines. If you cannot reach them, call emergency services (911) to report the situation.

  1. Warn Others

Why: Keeping others informed can prevent accidents.

Action: Inform neighbors and passersby to stay away from the downed power lines until help arrives.

Is It Safe to Drive Over Downed Power Lines After a Major Storm?

The Dangers

Why: Downed power lines can be live, and driving over them can result in electrical shock, vehicle damage, or even fire.

Safety Advice

  • Do Not Drive Over: Never drive over downed power lines. The weight of your vehicle can shift the lines and cause a dangerous situation.
  • Stay Inside Vehicle: If a power line falls on your car, stay inside until emergency responders arrive. Exiting the vehicle can create a path for electricity to travel through you.
  • Signal for Help: Use your mobile phone to call for help or signal to passersby for assistance.

Staying safe from electrical hazards during a storm involves being aware of the risks and taking proactive measures. Always unplug appliances, avoid using electrical devices, stay clear of water sources, and remain indoors during storms. Floodwaters can carry electrical currents, making them extremely dangerous. Report downed power lines immediately and never drive over them. By following these guidelines, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from electrical hazards during severe weather events.

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