Keeping safe during flooding
Electricity and water are a dangerous combination. Flooding can result in safety risks such as electrocution or electric shocks, so it is important that you know how to keep safe.
Floods and the debris they carry can also damage electrical wiring within your property, so even when the flood waters subside, there are important steps to take to be safe.
If you’re impacted by flooding or think you might be, then follow these tips to stay safe.
Preparing for floods
If your property is likely to be flooded, it is best to make it electrically safe now, before the waters rise.
- Switch off and unplug electrical appliances and where possible, raise them well above potential flood levels.
- Check that you have a few working torches handy.
- Turn off the main electrical switch at your switchboard.
- Get a qualified electrician to turn off and isolate your solar panels and, if you have one installed, get them (if they can) to move a battery to a place of safety.
- Keep your mobile phone and other devices fully charged to keep in touch with updates or to report faults.
- Register for SMS/ email updates for information of power disconnections.
During a flood
- Don’t stay in a house or building that is inundated by flood water when the power is connected.
- Don’t use an electrical appliance, sink or bath if you feel a shock or tingling sensation from any metal or plumbing. Avoid these appliances or objects and call us on 13 13 66 to report the problem as soon as you can.
- Don’t leave your vehicle if powerlines have fallen across it unless you are in immediate danger. Stay inside and call 000 for help.
- If travelling by boat in flood waters, don’t try to raise or move any powerlines you find. Don’t try to travel under the powerlines either as the rising waters will put you closer to them and potentially put you at risk of electric shock.
- Stay well clear of electricity poles, substations, fallen powerlines and any objects in contact with them. If the electricity poles and wires are covered in flood waters, then stay at least 150 metres away and call us to report it on 13 13 66.
After the flood - returning to your property
We understand that getting the power turned back on as soon as possible will be a priority. But before using or switching on any electrical devices, follow these three steps to ensure it is safe.
- Proceed with caution- don’t assume your power is disconnected
- Do not try to operate any electrical appliances or switches if there is flood damage.
- We may have disconnected your electricity supply for your safety if there was evidence of flooding or you are in an area that has been flooded.
- If there is still water around – make sure you’re wearing synthetic or rubber soled shoes when walking in water.
- Get a registered electrical contractor at your property to:
- Check all electrical appliances affected by water and your switchboard to confirm they are safe to use.
- Let you know if any water affected electrical items cannot be fixed and should be thrown out in electrical waste (see your local Council).
- Inspect your rooftop solar system and battery, if installed, make any repairs and check it’s electrically safe before it is re-commissioned.
- Getting your power reconnected
If you have had your power disconnected, you will need to follow these steps to get your power back on:
- Engage a qualified electrician to complete a safety and compliance inspection and issue a certificate of electrical safety compliance (ECOC). We will need that to confirm your property is safe before we reconnect your power.
- We recommend that the registered electrical contractor arranges the reconnection directly with us on your behalf.
If your property has been flood affected but the power remained on, we encourage you to engage a registered electrical contractor to make sure it is safe.
View our information about reconnecting power after flooding
View more information reconnecting after flooding - Contractor information