Stay electrically safe during flood clean up

Queensland Government media release

Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace has urged workers, helpers and homeowners to clean up safely following Queensland’s recent deluge which has left many properties and businesses flooded.

“One of the immediate safety priorities following flooding and water damage events is electrical safety,” Ms Grace said.

“The best way to check the electrical safety of your property is to use a licensed electrician to inspect and carry out verification tests on your switchboard, wiring, equipment and appliances that may have been water damaged.

“If there’s any chance they’ve been damaged by water, stay away from switchboards, and warn others to do the same.

“If the rain has got into your roof space, make sure you turn off the power before you go up there to check for damage.

“Have a licensed electrician check any electrical appliances or equipment you know or suspect that may have been submerged or water-logged.

“And never, ever be tempted to do your own electrical work. The golden rule is never, under any circumstances, do it yourself as this is potentially life-threatening.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hyrdogen Mick de Brenni said Queenslanders needed to be aware that solar panels continued to generate power even if their home was disconnected.

Mr de Brenni said the Electrical Trades Union and Queensland’s publicly-owned power companies would be mobilising Operation Energise to support vulnerable households and community groups in need that have been flooded to be reconnected.

“Licensed electricians will go into homes and community groups who need it most, check them for safety and get the power reconnected,” Mr de Brenni said.

“They will do it with the support of our publicly-owned power companies and alongside the Master Electricians who will focus on properties that are insured.”

“From Monday, anyone who needs help can call 1800 ETUYES (1800 388 937).”

During extreme weather events, electricity supplies are often cut, and portable generators used.

Other handy tips for safely operating a generator include:

  • there is a very real risk of suffocation from carbon monoxide exhaust gases – always run the generator outdoors or in a well-ventilated area
  • ensure all leads used to connect your generator are in good working condition (no damage to plugs or lead and no exposed wires)
  • only use power boards that are protected by an overload cut out
  • place leads and power boards so they will not be stepped on, tripped over, or fall into water
  • don’t exceed the generator’s load rating and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Read more about keeping your family and your workers safe during flood clean up on the WorkSafe Queensland website.

Stay up-to-date with the latest Bureau of Meteorology warnings.

There is also means tested support available for essential service reconnection.