Electrical safety and floods

13 October, 2022

Keeping safe in floods

Electricity and water is a dangerous combination. Flooding can result in safety risks such as electrocution or electric shocks so it is important that you know how to keep safe.

Floods and the debris they carry can also damage the electrical wiring to your property so even when the flood waters subside, there are important steps to take to be safe.

If you’re impacted by flooding or think you might be, then follow these tips to stay safe.

Preparing for floods

  • Switch off and unplug electrical appliances and where possible, raise them well above potential flood heights.
  • Check that you have a few working torches handy.
  • Make sure you know the location of your meter box and main switchboard.
  • If you are evacuating your home, then turn off the main electrical switch at your switchboard.

During a flood

  • Don’t stay in a house or building that is inundated by flood water when the power is connected.
  • Don’t use an electrical appliance, sink or bath if you feel a shock or tingling sensation from any metal or plumbing. Avoid these appliances or objects and call us to report the problem as soon as you can.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle if powerlines have fallen across it unless you are in immediate danger. Stay inside and call 000 for help.
  • If travelling by boat in flood waters, don’t try to raise or move any powerlines you find. Don’t try to travel under the powerlines either as the rising waters will put you closer to them.
  • Stay well clear of electricity poles, substations, fallen powerlines and any objects in contact with them. If the electricity poles and wires are covered in flood waters, then stay at least 150 metres away and call us to report it.

After the flood- returning to your property

We understand that getting the power turned back on as soon as possible will be a priority. But before using or switching on any electrical devices, follow these 3 steps to ensure it is safe.

1. Proceed with caution- don’t assume your power is disconnected 

  • Do not try to operate any electrical appliances or switches if there is flood damage.
  • We may have disconnected your supply for your safety if there was evidence of flooding or you are in an area that has been flooded.
  • If there is still water around – make sure you’re wearing synthetic or rubber soled shoes when walking in water.

2. Get a registered electrical contractor at your property to:

  • Check all electrical appliances affected by water and your switchboard to confirm they are safe to use.
  • Let you know if any water affected electrical items cannot be fixed should be thrown out.
  • Inspect your rooftop solar system, make any repairs and check it’s electrically safe before it is re-commissioned.

3. Getting your power reconnected 

If you have been disconnected by us you will need to follow these steps to turn your power back on:

  • Engage a Registered Electrical Contractor to complete a safety and compliance inspection and issue a certificate of electrical safety (CES). They will need to send this to us at info@powercor.com.au .
  • We recommend that the registered electrical contractor arranges the reconnection directly with us on your behalf.

If your property has been flood affected but the power remained on, we encourage you to engage a registered electrical contractor to make sure it is safe (see step 2).

If you have any questions, our contact details are here.