Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey this past week. The road to recovery will not be short, and we hope that safety is everyone’s first priority. There are many dangers associated with any major storm, such as property damage, high winds, and flooding, but there are other often overlooked potentially dangerous scenarios to be aware of. Below are some of those scenarios to avoid:
If you smell gas, you should immediately leave the area. Once you are a safe distance away, you should contact 911. It is important to not use your phone or any other electronics, including turning on and off your lights, near a gas leak.
When the electricity or other utilities are no longer available during or after a storm, people often use candles or other tools that have an active flame element. It is important to never leave a flame unattended and to always have a fire extinguisher close by. A better alternative would be a battery powered flashlight or lantern.
Whether it’s downed wires or flooding, high voltage live wires can pose a serious health risk. Stay away from these wires as well as bodies of water that may be in contact with these downed wires. Do not operate any electric device while standing in water either.
Even after the storm and flooding have subsided, it is important to have an electrician inspect any electric devices that were exposed to water (e.g. appliances that were flooded).
Carbon Monoxide poisoning, often referred to as CO poisoning, can be deadly. If you experience dizziness, nauseous, and fatigue, you may have been exposed to higher levels of CO. If you do experience these symptoms, you should immediately relocate and find fresh air, and call 911. CO is nicknamed “the invisible killer” because it is odorless and cannot be seen. Please take it seriously.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a particular concern after a major storm as portable generators are a popular solution for power loss. Portable generators can produce high levels of CO, so it is important to never use them indoors or within 25 feet from your home.