Top Electrical Hazards You Need to Look Out For During a Storm

Posted on August 29, 2022 by Oozle Media

Severe storms and natural disasters can lead to many electrical hazards in or around your home. Some are fairly obvious, while others may not cross your mind. Either way, many of those electrical safety hazards remain long after the storm itself has passed. Keep reading to learn more about these hazards and how to protect your home from them. 

Lightning

Lightning is one of the most common hazards during stormy weather. A direct lightning strike will cause significant damage to electrical and nonelectrical items in the home. In many instances, this can start a fire, often in the wiring within the walls or the attic. It can also cause structural damage to the roof, chimney, or sometimes the windows or foundation. 

The electrical system of a home or business is one of the most frequent points of entry of increased voltage from a lightning or surge event.  When lightning strikes a nearby power line, it travels the path of least resistance from the power line to the meter and then into the home’s electrical panel. To protect your home from these damages, you can:

  • Use a home lightning protection system
  • Unplug electronics and appliances during a storm
  • Install transient voltage surge suppressors

Downed Power Lines

downed powerlines

A downed power line is a high voltage electrical wire that has fallen from a utility pole or transmission tower.. Because it carries enough electricity to power cities, neighborhoods, businesses and homes, a downed overhead cable is very dangerous.  A downed powerline can cause power outages in your neighborhood, and can cause damage to your home if it falls too close. Avoid them at all costs.

If you see a downed power line, move at least 10 feet away from the line and anything touching it. The proper way to move away from the line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. Local electrical professionals should take care of cleaning up downed power lines, so don’t worry about doing so after a storm. 

Flooded Areas

Basements and other areas of your home can be easily flooded during severe storms. While floods don’t pose any immediate danger, it’s still important to be cautious when entering a flooded area. Submerged outlets or electrical cords can energize water, posing a lethal trap. Avoid touching or using any electrical appliances that are wet or have been in a flooded area until a professional can look at them. 

Wet Electrical Equipment

wet electrical cables

Even if your home hasn’t flooded, your electrical equipment like circuit breakers and fuses may still be wet. Similar to when it comes to flooded areas, avoid using any of these until a professional can replace them. 

Metal

As a conductor of electricity, metal is not something you want nearby during a thunderstorm. When indoors, steer clear of metal appliances such as ovens, kitchens, and electrical equipment. While battery operated devices are typically safe, ensure they’re not plugged in during a storm. TV’s, radios, and laptops should be unplugged during a storm to avoid electrical surges. If you’re indoors, handheld mobile devices shouldn’t be a hazard, however, landlines should not be used.

Generators

Power from generators can be dangerous during a storm, if not controlled correctly. Make sure you understand how to operate a generator before using one. Some tips to stay safe include:

generator

  • Connect your generator to your house using a generator change-over switch and appropriate socket. These switches must be installed by a licensed electrician.
  • Ensure all leads used to connect your generator are in working order.
  • Use power boards with an overload cut-out switch.

Never operate a generator inside your home or in any other enclosed, or even partially enclosed, area. Generators produce carbon monoxide, which can easily enter your home if not ventilated. To avoid CO poisoning, place the generator outside, on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. Do not operate the generator in wet conditions or where there is standing water. Avoid operating the generator during the rainstorm. 

Call JP Electrical for Help

If you are in need of repairs after a severe storm, call JP Electrical. We can help with repairs, troubleshooting, and other electrical maintenance. Our team of electricians is all well-trained and certified. We take pride in our strong reputation for excellence. We are committed to providing you with the best quality work, no matter how big the project is. Contact JP Electrical for assistance on your electrical issues!

Categories: Electrical Hazards

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