Schneider Electric, best known in the United States for its flagship brand Square D®, warns home and business owners of the dangers surrounding water-damaged electrical equipment and incoming utility power. Before turning power back on in a home or business, a thorough inspection of all components by an electrical professional is critical. Following are several key facts regarding this important issue.

Electrical equipment that has been submerged must be serviced or repaired.

  • Be aware of submerged electrical equipment, such as electrical outlets or cords that may energize flood waters and pose a potentially deadly threat.
  • Do not plug a portable generator into an outlet, patch it into electrical wiring or connect it directly to a main electrical panel. Doing so could cause fires or cause power to flow into an electrical line, endangering persons in the home, neighbors and utility crews working in the area.
  • Equipment located in flooded areas that was not submerged should be inspected by a qualified professional to determine whether moisture has entered the enclosure.
  • If there are any signs of moisture or damage, the equipment should be replaced or repaired.
  • Do not touch a circuit breaker or replace a fuse with wet hands or while standing on a damp or wet surface.
  • Any disassembly of electrical equipment should be performed only by trained factory service personnel who are familiar with equipment design and function.
  • Turn off lights and appliances when the power goes out. This helps avoid fire hazards as well as sudden demands on the electric system.
  • Turn off the main circuit breaker and all appliances when leaving home during a power outage.
  • Do not walk or drive through water that may be in contact with downed power lines. Report these situations to your utility immediately.