New Orleans, Louisiana (NAPSI) - Even after a storm has passed, there are still some things to watch out for. For example, electrical dangers may still pose a risk throughout the community and even in your home.
You and your family should beware of electrical dangers associated with downed power lines and electrical wiring or appliances that have been exposed to water as a result of severe storms.
How to Protect Yourself
Downed power lines are extremely dangerous. You cannot tell whether a power line is energized just by looking at it. That means you should assume that all downed power lines are live.
If you see a downed power line, move away from it and anything touching it. The ground around power lines—up to 35 feet away—may be energized. Shuffle away taking small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock.
Never attempt to drive over or move a downed power line; instead, report it to authorities.
If someone is in contact with a downed power line, call 911 immediately but do not touch or approach the person so as not to put yourself at risk of injury.
“After a storm, it’s important that you don’t turn on or plug in appliances until an electrician has inspected all electrical appliances that have gotten wet,” advise the experts at the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).
If your home flooded and water rose above the electrical outlets, contact a licensed electrician before turning on the main circuit breaker. Electrical equipment exposed to water can be extremely dangerous if re-energized without proper reconditioning or replacement.
Keep in mind, battery-powered lighting is the safest and easiest power source when water is around.
For additional electrical safety information associated with severe weather, visit www.esfi.org or call (703) 841-3229.