Empowering Communities

Three steps to safely navigate home floods

July 14, 2022

Summer rains do wonders for our lawns and gardens, but heavy rain can also lead to severe flooding and home damage.

“When a home or basement floods, your instinct may be to move quickly to save your belongings,” said Kimberly Smith, ComEd Environmental, Health & Safety Director. “However, when water is involved, the first thing to consider is your electrical safety. The team at ComEd is here to help keep you safe.”

If you experience a flooded basement or home, follow these guidelines to stay safe from electricity while navigating your flooded space.  

1. Shut off your power before assessing your flooded space

  • If you can safely reach your breaker box without needing to stand in water, shut off power to your flooded location.
  • If you cannot safely access your breaker box, call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661) to disconnect your power before entering the flooded area. Smart power meters can be shut off and restored remotely by ComEd.

2. Be cautious using electrical devices and appliances

  • During a flood, electrical equipment including power outlets, appliances, switches, and cords may have been exposed to water. Never use electrical equipment if it is wet or you are wet/standing on a wet surface.
  • If an electrical appliance has been in contact with water, have a professional check it out before using it again. It may need to be repaired or replaced.

3. Take steps to protect yourself and your belongings

  • Consider installing ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in areas of your home that have the greatest risk of being exposed to water. This includes outdoor outlets, kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and laundry rooms. GFCI outlets can cut off power automatically when they detect a problem.
  • When operating electric appliances or devices, keep equipment at least 10 feet away from wet surfaces. This is important to remember during floods and when operating electric yard tools when it is raining or wet outside.

To discover more safety tips for your home, visit ComEd.com/safety