As heavy rain continues across much of the UK, the Met Office describes the weather as ‘the most intense September storm in 30 years’. More than 300 homes have already flooded, and 87 Environment Agency flood warnings are currently in force.
If your home is at risk, follow these safety tips from Steve Bratt, Group CEO of the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA).
• If floods are threatening your property, unplug all electrical appliances in the lower part of your home, switch off sockets and the main supply. Water and electricity do not mix well!
• If you don’t have an opportunity to switch electrical equipment, appliances and sockets off before the influx of water, you should do this as soon as it is safe to do so immediately after the flood.
• During the flood, the main household electricity system should trip upon contact with water, so once the wiring has thoroughly dried out, it may not need to be repaired or replaced. It will, however, need to be tested and lower level socket outlets may still need to be changed.
• Following any flood damage, seek advice from a reputable electrical contractor. Electricians who are members of registered trade associations such as the ECA are reliable, fully certified and their work can come with guarantees*.
• If re-wiring is needed, speak to your electrician about the possibility of raising sockets and fuse boxes. This could prevent future damage if your area was to flood again.
• An electrical contractor will also be able to test your appliances to ensure they are fit for use. Many appliances will seem fine following flood damage, but while they may not need replacing, they should not be used until they have been tested. Water damage to appliances could lead to a fire or serious electric shock – the last thing you need on top of the flood!
To find a local ECA member, please visit www.eca.co.uk/find-an-eca-member or call 020 7313 4800.
* Homeowners can take assurance from the ECA’s Guarantee of Work scheme, which automatically covers electrical work undertaken by ECA members. Under the scheme, which is free to anyone who employs an ECA member company to carry out work in their home costing between £250 and £50,000, workmanship is guaranteed.
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Notes to editors
About The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA)
The ECA represents the interests of 3,000 member companies involved in electrical installation work. Collectively, the member companies have an annual turnover of more than £5 billion, employ over 30,000 operatives and support 8,000 apprentices in craft training. Over 300 ECA members install PV systems. The role of the ECA is to provide a focus for the electrical industry in terms of safety, training, qualification, technological development and industry performance www.eca.co.uk.
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