When wind, rain, or even a Massachusetts tornado starts to roll in, ensuring the safety of our homes is a top priority. Electrical hazards can increase significantly during strong storms, making it important for homeowners to safeguard their property from electrical risks.
In this blog post, we will identify a few typical Massachusetts weather events to prepare for and discuss some essential tips for avoiding electrical safety hazards during a storm to keep your family safe from potential danger.
In this article:
- Common weather events to prepare for
- Avoiding downed power lines and exposed wiring
- Using a surge protector for electronics
- Don't use powerful electronics
- Get low (in the event of a tornado)
- Install whole home surge protectors
- When it is safe, check for downed power lines and how to report them
- Creating an emergency plan
Common Weather Events to Prepare For:
When considering electrical safety, it is important to realize that Massachusetts can suffer from three types of major storms:
- Extreme wind storms (hurricanes and tornados)
- Floods (or severe snowstorms in winter)
If your local weather report indicates any of these events, take a moment to consider the following electrical safety hazards and ensuring you have a plan for when they occur.
Tips for Avoiding Electrical Safety Hazards in a Storm
If you're outside, go inside or avoid areas with power lines or exposed wiring
It is essential to understand that electrical safety rules are crucial for everyone's well-being. Even though electricity has made various tasks convenient and more comfortable, it can be deadly without proper precautions.
If you find yourself outside at the onset of a storm, try to move safely indoors where possible. If you are unable to do so, avoid areas with powerlines or large objects that could fall over (e.g. trees). We also recommend avoiding areas with large bodies of water (see below)
Most importantly, you should never attempt to fix any electrical issues yourself during or after a storm, as it requires experience and professional training. Always seek qualified professionals when it comes to electrical problems or questions about electrical safety.
Use surge protectors for any electronics that need to stay plugged-in
Devices not protected by surge protectors are the most common casualties of minor and moderate-level electrical storms. To prevent damage to your electronic devices it is important to use surge protectors for any electronics that you leave plugged-in at all times.
Refrain from connecting or using powerful electronics during a storm
During any storm, especially a lightning storm, it is unsafe to use large appliances including washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, or stoves. If your high-ticket electronics are not protected by surge protectors, we recommend unplugging them as a precaution during lightning storm.
If flooding is expected, make sure to relocate any electrical equipment that could potentially get wet to a higher location to prevent it from being damaged. Likewise, do not enter a flooded area of your home if power to your home is active, as you could be electrocuted. If you're unsure, stay away, stay safe, and call your trusted electrical team at Home Mechanics
Get low (in the event of a tornado)
In the event of a tornado, it is important to take cover in a basement or storm shelter. These areas are typically the safest locations during extreme weather events as they are lower than the surrounding areas, providing more protection from the elements. Basements and storm shelters provide safety from flying debris, high winds, and possible electrical risks. Outside of storm events, we recommend that you periodically inspect your designated shelter area to ensure that the risk of flooding is minimized.
Install a whole-home surge protector for extra protection from electrical spikes during storms
As a homeowner, you invest a significant amount of money to ensure that your property has the necessary protection against unforeseen dangers. However, one area that most homeowners tend to neglect is power surges. Electrical surges caused by lightning strikes or other power disturbances can jeopardize your home's electrical systems, resulting in costly repairs.
Fortunately, by installing a whole-home surge protector, you can protect your home's electrical systems from power surges. This device is cost-effective and easy to install, providing peace of mind that your investment is safeguarded against harmful electrical surges. Take advantage of this simple and affordable solution to keep your home and family safe during turbulent weather conditions.
Check for downed power lines or tree limbs near your home and call 911 if necessary
When it comes to your safety and the safety of those around you, it's important to remain vigilant and proactive. One step you can take is to check for downed power lines or tree limbs near your home once the storm has ended.
These hazards can pose a serious threat, especially during inclement weather. If you do come across any downed power lines or tree limbs, it's important to immediately call 911 and report the situation. This will ensure that first responders are dispatched to the scene as quickly as possible, minimizing the risk of injury or property damage. Remember, safety should always be your top priority - please remain sheltered indoors until the storm has calmed.
Have an emergency plan in place with a safe location to go to in the event of a storm
As a responsible homeowner, it's crucial to have an emergency plan in place in the event of a storm. While nobody wants to imagine being caught in a dangerous situation, taking proactive steps and having a safe location to go to can make all the difference.
Consider the following:
- Create a system for each member of the family to check in on their location
- Identify a place that is safe for everyone in your home to be, especially in the event of a tornado or severe weather event. A basement or storm shelter may be a preferred option.
- Identify two members of the family who are responsible for turning off the main power electrical box (the electrical breaker) in the event of an imminent storm or emergency.
- Create a list of can- and cannot-do activities during a storm
- Encourage each member of the family to learn basic first aid and what to do if they believe a member of the family has been electrocuted
Trust the Professionals at Home Mechanics
If you are considering upgrading your electrical system to be prepared for severe weather events, contact the professionals at Home Mechanics. We would be happy to help ensure your home is prepared and safe for anything mother nature can throw at it.