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Sept. 12 - NFPA emphasizes importance of electrical safety during hurricane season

Category: Georgia Business News

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

September 12, 2018 - This week, Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall along the southern East Coast of the U.S. in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, bringing with it extensive rain and wind, and prompting extensive evacuations. The National Hurricane Center has also issued advisories for other tropical storms and hurricanes, and is asking communities to prepare ahead as these storms move closer to land.

To help navigate these storms and prepare throughout hurricane season, NFPA encourages residents to follow these electrical safety tips that can help reduce the risk for injury and damage to homes:

  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so by authorities, and turn off propane tanks.
  • Stay out of flood waters, if possible, and do not drive into flooded areas. Even water only several inches deep can be dangerous.
  • Treat all downed wires as if they are live — even if you don’t see any sparks — and especially if there is standing water nearby. Alert authorities immediately if you see downed wires in your area.
  • If your home has experienced flooding, it’s important to keep your power off until a professional electrician has inspected your entire home for safety, including appliances. Water can damage the internal components in electrical appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers, and cause shock and fire hazards. Have a qualified electrician visit your home and determine what electrical equipment should be replaced and what can be reconditioned.
  • If you smell gas in your home or neighborhood, notify emergency authorities immediately. Do not turn on lights, light matches, or engage in any activity that could create a spark.
  • In the event that electricity may not be available to your home yet and you have not experienced any water in your home, generators are a viable option to power some of your small appliances. However, if used improperly, they also pose a fire hazard, risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and electrocution.

As communities engage in emergency preparedness efforts now and throughout the fall months, visit www.nfpa.org/disaster to learn more and to download tip sheets about generator safety, escape planning, building an emergency supplies kit, and more.

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