The unexpected flooding that occurred in late January 2023, and again in early February 2023 when Cyclone Gabrielle hit New Zealand came as a result of the heavy rainfall experienced in Auckland, Northland, Waikato, and the Bay of Plenty. This caused extensive flooding which as we know by now, brought significant damage to homes and businesses across the regions. Unfortunately, many people had to leave their homes and businesses in an emergency due to flood waters entering their properties, which created a potentially dangerous situation, including the risk of flood electrical hazards.
If your home or business has been affected by flooding, there are several safety precautions you should take to minimize the risk of electrocution.
- First and foremost, if possible, do not enter areas that have standing water as there may be live electrical outlets or appliances submerged under water.
- If you must enter the area, turn off the electrical circuits, or if in doubt, turn off the switchboard before entering.
- Do not attempt to use any appliances that have been exposed to water.
- If you need to evacuate or leave your home, beware of fallen power lines and exposed underground cables that could create a risk of electrocution. Do not touch or go near downed or exposed power lines. Maintain a safe distance of at least 10 meters and call 111.
After a flood event there may be several flood electrical hazards still present in your home or business. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- It is highly recommended that a building have its electrical system tested before entering a building again once it has been affected by flood water.
- Again it is recommended that you have the power switched off at the switchboard until it has been tested by a registered electrician.
- Have any water effected electrical appliances tested by an electrician before attempting to use again.
- If you have a solar power system, be aware that even if the network supply is turned off, the solar system will continue producing voltages during the day which could potentially cause electrocution.
Northern Lights can help you with all your electrical needs after a flood including:
- Portable appliance testing (PAT testing) – We use a PAT tester to make sure that your appliances are safe to use afterwards and install a test tag on the lead recording the test date.
- We can organise electrical testing and a Certificate of Verification (COV) if needed to prove that the electrical system is safe.
- Repair any damaged electrical sockets and lighting.
It is essential to remember that if you witness someone receiving an electric shock, call the emergency services immediately, and do not approach the person until you are certain the danger has been removed. By taking these safety precautions, you can help minimize the risk of flood electrical hazards during and after a flood.
In conclusion, being aware of flood electrical hazards during and after a flood is crucial for staying safe and avoiding potential electrocution. It’s important to take necessary precautions such as not entering areas with standing water, turning off electrical circuits, and having the electrical system tested by a registered electrician before entering a building that has been affected by flood water. For those in the Auckland area, Northern Lights Lighting and Electrical can assist with all your electrical needs, including PAT testing, electrical testing, and repairing damaged electrical sockets and lighting. As a Master Electrician in Auckland, Northern Lights is committed to providing the highest-quality service to ensure the safety of your home or business.