In many parts of the state, heavy spring rains following a snowier- than-normal winter have caused headaches for folks with basements. Keep these safety tips in mind if you experience anything from a slightly wet floor to several inches of water (or more) in your basement.
- Never step into a flooded basement or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords. Be alert to any electrical equipment that could be energized and in contact with water.
- Don’t try to turn off power at the breaker panel or fuse box if you must stand in water to do so. If you can’t reach your breaker panel or fuse box safely, call your electric cooperative to shut off power at the meter.
- Avoid using electric appliances or touching electric wires, switches or fuses when you’re wet or standing in water.
- Keep electric tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from wet surfaces.
- Look for signs that your appliances have gotten wet. Call a service technician to check your appliances before using them, because appliances that have been wet pose electric shock and fire hazards.
- Throw out wet room-sized carpets, drapes, upholstered furniture, stuffed toys, ceiling tiles and anything that can’t be restored by dry cleaning or steam cleaning – or put in a washing machine or dryer. Microorganisms can grow in these water-damaged products and cause allergic reactions and infections.
- Discard mattresses, wicker furniture, straw baskets and the like that have been water damaged. Washing or cleaning cannot recover these items. Get rid of medicines that have gotten wet; dirty water may have affected the integrity of the medicines.
- Remove and replace wet insulation to prevent conditions where biological pollutants can grow.