flooded living room

Flood Safety


When water makes contact with electrical systems, there is a risk of electric shock that could seriously injure or kill you. These safety steps could save your life, or the lives of first responders and utility people working in the area.

Has a recent flood damaged your electrical system? Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to check your home’s electrical system and make any necessary repairs. 

What to do in a flood

Be careful! Electricity can move through water or wet flooring and cause a severe electrical shock.

  1. If you need to evacuate your home prior to flooding, move electrical appliances and devices out of your home or to an area above the expected level of floodwater. Do not try to use electrical devices if they have been in contact with floodwater.
  2. Do not enter your basement if the water is above the level of electrical outlets, baseboard heaters or furnace, or is near your electrical panel. Call your local electric utility immediately and arrange for them to disconnect power to your home. 
  3. Watch out for downed powerlines in flood-affected areas. If you see one, stay back the length of a school bus (10 metres). Call 9-1-1 and your local electric utility to report it.

After a flood

If you suspect that water contacted or damaged your electrical system:

  1. If water in your basement has risen above the electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, furnace or electrical panel, DO NOT enter the basement. Wait until the local electric utility disconnects the power.
  2. If your electrical system was affected, you may have to wait for your utility to restore your power. The utility may have to assess the damage and you may have to arrange repairs. See the Getting your Power Restored page for more information
  3. Do not attempt repairs yourself. Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) to check your home’s electrical system and determine if it is safe to have the utility restore power to your home. Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor.

Why hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC)?

If you hire an unlicensed contractor or attempt to make repairs yourself, it could delay your power being reconnected, affect insurance claims, and create safety hazards. 

  • An LEC will file a notification with ESA so there is a record of the work;
  • When the LEC completes the work, they will notify ESA. Ask for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Acceptance for your records and insurance purposes; 
  • ESA will inform the utility that it is safe to reconnect; and
  • The utility will reconnect when it is able to do so.

Safety Resources

Video: Hiring an electrical contractor after a flood — Mike Holmes Jr.

Video: Water + Electricity Do Not Mix!