Make Sure You Are Prepared When Extreme Weather Comes Your Way

This Atlantic hurricane season has already dealt the coast quite a hand, and it’s not over until the end of November. Most people who live in hurricane prone areas are familiar with some aspects of storm preparedness, yet many don’t know enough about electrical safety after a storm. As you stock up on batteries and bottled water for the next hurricane threat, keep these electrical safety tips in mind.

Before the Storm 

Pre-planning is key to successfully riding out a storm. If there is a threat of flooding, planning ahead can be a life-saving step. If you expect your home to flood, turn off and unplug all components that use electricity. You should also shut off the home’s main breakers, which will turn off all electricity in your home. If you don’t already know, learn where your circuit breakers are, so you’ll be prepared when the time comes. As the storm approaches, pay close attention to directions from officials about turning off electricity, gas, and water.

Never touch or attempt to unplug any electrical component if you are wet or if you are standing in water. If your home is already flooded, do not turn off the breaker. Instead, call the electric company to do so. 

After the Storm 

Even after the storm has passed, it still leaves many dangers behind—and fallen power lines are among the most dangerous.

  • Treat any downed wires as if they are live. NEVER touch or approach them.
  • Instead, call your utility company to report any downed lines.
  • If you see downed power lines or electrical equipment, call 911 or 800-4OUTAGE (800.468.8243.)
  • Electrical wires could be tangled in fallen trees. If those lines are live, touching any part of the tree can be deadly.
  • Keep power lines in mind as you start your cleanup. Remember, you might not be able to see downed wires as they could be hidden by trees or other debris.
  • Do not trim or attempt to remove foliage within 10 feet of a power line. If you’re using scaffolds, ladders, or extended equipment, be sure they are at least 10 feet from power lines.
  • Never enter a flooded basement even if your power is off. Even if you’ve turned off the main breaker entering a flooded basement still poses potential danger.
  • Do not enter a flooded basement unless a Miami electrician, the utility company, or the fire department has removed the electrical meter from its socket.

Using a Generator

Having a generator on standby is part of many people’s storm prep, but improper use is extremely dangerous. Following Irma, several people died and many others have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper use of a generator. Follow these tips for safe usage:

  • Generators should NEVER BE USED INDOORS. Unless your garage is very well ventilated, that’s not a safe option either. Instead, generators should only be operated OUTSIDE.
  • Be sure the generator’s exhaust is not directed toward your home’s doors or windows.
  • If you’re going to operate a generator, install carbon monoxide detectors, so you’ll be immediately alerted of a dangerous buildup.

When a storm passes, crews work tirelessly to restore power as quickly as possible. Don’t let a temporary inconvenience turn into a deadly accident. Learn proper electrical precautions as part of your storm preparations and ride out the next storm safely. 

If you need a Miami electrician, contact Miami Electric Masters. Give us a call, or fill out our online contact form to get in touch.