Home Safety After a Fire or Storm
- Be safe, be smart.
- Before using any electrical equipment or electrical appliances, have a certified electrician check items before you start them or turn the
power back on.
- Consult your utility company about using electrical equipment, including power generators. If a generator is online when electrical service is
restored, it can become a major fire hazard.
- If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, call an electrician for advice.
- Remember, do not smoke, use candles, gas lanterns or other open flames inside and around your home.
- Be careful in rooms with standing water — it may cover electrical outlets and exposed lines.
- Gas leaks
- If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Call the gas company from a neighbor's
home, do not use your cell phone.
- If you turned off the gas or it isn’t working, it must be turned back on by a professional. Have a licensed plumber or the utility company check
the gas lines before restoring service.
- Don’t turn on your cell phone if there is danger of combustible gases. Cell phones can ignite such gases and create a major explosion.
- Sewage and water line damage
- If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber.
- If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company, and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from undamaged water
heaters or by melting ice cubes.
- Water damage, interior flooding
- If flooded, pump out your basement gradually. The walls could collapse or the floor could buckle if the surrounding ground is waterlogged.
Not sure? Get an inspector.
- If your home has sustained water damage, visit
FEMA and review their information on water damage under their
- Examine walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows for damage.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home, if possible.
- Watch for loose plaster, drywall and ceilings that could fall.
- To protect and minimize further damage, cover holes in roof or windows with tarps if necessary.