Electrical Safety and Flooding

Flood Safety Information

There is a heightened risk of electric shock when water makes contact with electrical systems that could seriously injure or kill you. Follow these electrical safety steps; it could save your life, or the lives of first responders and utility personnel working in the area.

Flooding has occurred
 1. Do not enter your basement if you know or suspect water has risen above the level of electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, furnace or is near your electrical panel. Electricity can move through water or wet flooring and cause a severe electrical shock.

2. In the event that flood water has risen above outlets, baseboard heaters or your furnace, covers power cords, or is near the electrical panel, contact your local electric utility immediately and arrange for them to disconnect power to your home.

3. Watch out for downed powerlines in flood-affected areas. If you see one, stay back 10 metres or the length of a school bus and call 9-1-1 and your local electric utility to report it.

Evacuation due to flooding

If you need to leave your home because flooding is imminent and there is no floodwater in your basement:

1. Move electrical appliances and devices out of your home or to an area in the house above the expected level of flood water. Do not attempt to use these products if they have been in contact with flood water.

2. Watch out for downed powerlines in flood-affected areas. If you see one, stay back 10 metres or the length of a school bus and call 9-1-1 and your local electric utility to report it.

Returning home after a flood

If you have water contact or damage to your electrical system:

1. If water in your basement has risen above the electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, furnace or electrical panel, DO NOT enter the basement until the power has been disconnected by the local electric utility.

2. If your electrical system has been affected, your utility may not be able to restore power to your property until damage has been assessed and necessary repairs have been made.

3. Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to evaluate your home’s electrical system to determine if it is safe to have the local electric utility restore power to your home.

  • The contractor will file for a permit with the ESA so there is a record of the work;
  • When the contractor completes the work, the contractor will notify ESA and the ESA Inspector will confirm work has been done safely and power can be reconnected;
  • ESA will inform the utility that it is safe to reconnect;
  • The utility will reconnect when it is able to do so.
  • Ask the contractor for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Inspection for your records and insurance.

You may also find further information at the Electrical Safety Authority website at: https://www.esasafe.com/consumers/safety-and-security/storm-safety/flood-safety-info