Summer spells the beginning of all sorts of things, one of them: electrical storms. Between lightning, power outages and other electrical hazards in the aftermath of a storm, many people can be injured or even killed. Follow a few safety tips to protect yourself and your family:
1) When storms have brought flood waters, there are ever-present dangers, one of them being electrical. Be careful when stepping in large pools of water. There could be downed lines, submerged outlets or electrical cords lying beneath the waters. Most people think that they can safely walk across waters that aren’t so deep, but they don’t stop to consider the electrical angle and can be severely hurt or killed.
2) If you’ve experienced flooding in your home or business, remember not to run any appliances that have gotten wet. Water damages some electrical appliance motors in things like washers and dryers, refrigerators and stoves, even the furnace. Electrical parts can become grounded and the user is at risk of electric shock or fire.
3) Downed power lines can move around and cause serious injury. It’s not safe to drive a car over downed electrical lines, nor is it safe to step over them. Running current can cause the wire to jump around, causing serious injury or worse.
4) Don’t touch anything that has a downed wire laying on it. If, for example, a power line is downed and hanging in a tree, stay completely away from the tree and touch nothing near it. Electricity can travel more than some people might realize. Call to inform the power company of downed wires right away.
5) Do not attempt to move, scoot or drag a person that is in contact with a power line. Some people have been seriously injured while trying to use a stick to move the power line or while trying to drag the person by his pant cuffs or other clothing.
6) Stay away from even small amounts of water if there’s a downed power line nearby. There can be a power line across the street and you can be electrocuted while stepping into a small puddle of water, yards away. Never underestimate electricity; it can travel great distances if it has any conductive.
7) If you’re in your car and a power line falls on your car, continue driving until you are away from the power line, if possible. If the line falls on the car and you can’t travel further (for example, there’s a fallen tree in the way), stay in your car. Do not try to get out and get help. Honk the horn until someone sends help or use a cell phone to call police.
8) If you must get out of the car, for instance it’s on fire, jump out of the car, landing on both feet at the same time, but managing to avoid any contact with the car. This will not guarantee that you won’t be shocked but will lessen your chances of a major hit of electricity.
Storms come in summer, that’s a fact, but there are a few things you can do to make your family slightly safer. Follow these guidelines for the safest summer possible.