When a storm hits, the damage to your home or business may be of top concern, after safety of your loved ones, of course. One of the key areas of costly damage often comes from overlooked sources of electricity. However, according to Schneider Electric, costly damage to residential or commercial electrical systems can be minimized or avoided, while ensuring human safety by following three important steps while preparing homes and businesses for an oncoming storm:
1. Before evacuating, unplug all appliances and turn off main power sources and all electrically-powered equipment. If you do not have access to the main power, contact an electrician or your electric utility to assist.
2. If you have an onsite generator, test it before the storm to ensure functionality, but ensure that you have a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm in your home prior to the storm and that it works before using a generator. You should also have current product diagrams and equipment documentation handy, along with any critical spare parts should they be needed upon return to your home or business.
3. Business owners should re-examine and implement an electrical emergency action plan, which includes identifying critical functions essential to efficiently and safely restore power.
Following the storm, residents, rescuers and others in the area should take additional precautions, including:
- Do not enter a home or building where there is standing water inside until it is confirmed that the main power is shut off.
- If there is evidence of flooding but it is difficult to determine if the main power has been turned off, do not attempt to turn it off. Contact an electrician or the local electric utility.
- Locate the main panel to see if any circuit breakers or fuses have tripped if there is no electricity upon return.
- If there are any signs of smoke, fire or water damage near electrical outlets, immediately unplug all items in the area and contact an electrician or your electric utility.
While ensuring human safety is the top priority in any natural disaster, damage to property and electrical equipment can also be devastating for business and homeowners.
Source: Schneider Electric
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