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Iowa Department of Public Safety
Larry L. Noble, Commissioner
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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Raymond A. Reynolds, Director

For immediate release:  
Thursday, August 12, 2010  
Des Moines, Iowa  

Electrical Inspectors Offer Help, Tips for Homeowners Affected by Flooding

Des Moines, IOWA---Everyone knows water and electricity don’t mix!  But unfortunately when flood waters rise and recede, Iowans hurrying to save their property tend to forget this simple rule.  The Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Electrical Inspection Section is offering simple rules to help homeowners avoid electrical failure or even electrocution in the wake of flooding.

Before Flooding:

  • Switch off any circuit breakers for areas or outlets that may become flood affected.
  • If necessary, request your power company shut off electricity to your entire home before the water rises.
  • Unplug all electrical appliances prior to flooding.

During Flooding:

  • Once the water arrives, never plug in or unplug appliances that are in water.  Appliances that are still plugged in should never be turned on or off.
  • If the electricity hasn’t been shut off in your home, never stand or walk in flood water that may be in contact with your electrical system.

After Flooding:

  • Before turning on your electricity, accessing any electrical outlets, or even switching on lights, have everything inspected by a licensed electrician.  Flood waters often carry sewage, motor fuels, or debris that corrodes electrical systems.
  • All electrical appliances affected by flooding should be inspected, repaired or replaced as well.

The Electrical Inspection Section of the State Fire Marshal’s Office is available for any electrical questions or assistance concerning the repair or replacement of your electrical equipment.  Call 866-923-1082 for answers to your questions or to obtain contact information for the electrical inspector in your area.  Inspector information is also available at the Electrical Inspection Section website:
http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/electrician

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