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ESFI Promotes Electrical Safety Tips for Victims of Hurricane Irma and Harvey

Take care when stepping into a flooded area, and be aware that submerged outlets or electrical cords may energize the water, posing a potentially deadly trap.

Hurricane Harvey caused more than 300,000 power outages in Texas and Louisiana, resulting in 573,000 registrations for assistance with FEMA. Hurricane Irma followed closely behind, hitting Florida as a Category 4 Hurricane over the past weekend.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is providing the following safety tips for homeowners in affected areas of Florida, Puerto Rico, and other southern states as they recover from storms and return to their homes.

Portable Generators:

Portable generators can be a convenient source of temporary power during outages caused by storms, but they can also be dangerous if not used properly.

  • Do not operate a portable generator in your home or in any other enclosed or even-partially enclosed area. Generators can very quickly produce high levels of carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
  • Make sure that there is at least one battery-operated or battery backup carbon monoxide alarm in your home. Test it before using your generator.
  • Do not connect generators directly to the household wiring unless an appropriate transfer switch has been installed by a licensed, qualified electrician.
  • Always turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling.

Submerged Electrical Appliances:

  • Electrical equipment exposed to water can be extremely dangerous if reenergized without proper reconditioning or replacement.
  • Do not use electrical appliances that have been wet until they have been examined by a qualified service repair dealer. Certain equipment will require replacement, while a trained professional may be able to recondition other…

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