Saturday 8 April, 2017
Fire safety information after floods
Warnings on hidden dangers of water-affected appliances
Residents affected by flooding are being reminded to take precautions to avoid potential fire and chemical hazards as the community recovers.
While fire may be the last thing on people’s minds following the recent flood event there are a number of things people need to be aware of as they clean up in order to avoid the potential for further tragedy.
Most of these hazards involve electrical supply and appliances – the key safety point are:
Any electrical appliances including washing machines and refrigerators which have been in contact with water must be inspected by a qualified electrician before using them again.
Another potential danger is solar panels which are continuing to generate live power while power points have been affected by water.
Solar panels need to be isolated using the main isolation switch, keeping in mind this means cabling between the panels and switch is still live during daylight hours and may be in contact with damaged roof beams.
Again the system needs to be checked by an electrician before being turned back on.
While faulty appliances and electrical systems pose direct danger further risk can be incurred by people who are trying to do the right thing and find alternatives to meet their needs.
Using barbecues or LPG camp stoves rather than appliances which have been underwater is a good option but don’t bring them indoors as they emit poisonous carbon monoxide.
Anyone with stored chemicals and fuels should also take extra safety precautions and handle them using recommended safety equipment if they have been water affected.
If your have any doubt or concern about handling chemicals please call the SES incident number on 132 500 and someone from the fire service will respond to your inquiry.
For further information about disposal of waste or Council services including contacts, updates and disaster assistance links visit www.tweed.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 6670 2400.
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