Many households in Leeds and other areas of North and West Yorkshire have been affected badly by the recent floods. Many homes have unfortunately been flooded with river water leading to potential problems with the electrical installation.
Check your fuse box
Before you attempt to clear up the flood damage in your home it is important to ensure your electrical installation is safe to switch on. To do this you need to switch your fuse box off by switching the big red switch into the off position. Next, you need to visually inspect your fuse box using a torch to look for signs of damage. In particular you need to be checking for signs of water still present or any arcing or overheating. If you spot any of these signs, do not use and consult a qualified, registered electrician.
Do not switch on your electricity until you are 100% certain it is safe. If in doubt ask an electrician to take a look.
Have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out.
An EICR will determine the condition of your wiring and electrical installations in your home. The report will highlight what work needs to be carried out to make your home electrically safe. If the flood damage is only minor, you may only need replacement sockets and switches. However more serious damage may require parts of your home to be rewired.
I always recommend that where a replacement fuse box and sockets are needed that they are installed higher up on the wall above the flood level. That way, should your home flood again, the electrical damage should be less.
The next stage is to have your electrical appliances tested by an electrician to see if they are still safe to use. This is known as PAT testing. Don’t forget that larger items in your home will need to be tested also like electric cookers, boilers and storage heaters (do not forget about boiler repair too). It is a good idea to store smaller electrical appliances upstairs if possible or out of reach of flood levels.
Be very careful when clearing flood water. Check out BCRS here for more tips on how to deal with this safely, do not touch any exposed wiring as this may be live. Remember water and electricity do not mix, only start clearing water when it is safe to do so.