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. You can find a Licensed Electrical Contractor in your area here.

If flooding has occurred

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

  1. 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;
  2. Call your local electric utility immediately if the water has risen above outlets, baseboard heaters or your furnace, covers power cords, or is near the electrical panel, . Arrange for them to disconnect power to your home; and
  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.

If you've been evacuated ahead of flooding

If you need to leave your home because flooding is imminent but there is no floodwater in your basement:

  1. Move electrical appliances and devices out of your home or to an area in the house above the expected level of flood water. Do not try to use these products if they have been in contact with flood water; and
  2. 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.

Returning home after a flood

If you have water contact or damage to 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 has been affected, you may have to wait for your utility to restore power to your property. 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; and
  3. Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to check your home’s electrical system. The contractor will determine if it is safe to have the utility restore power to your home. Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
  • The contractor will file a notification with ESA so there is a record of the work;
  • When the contractor completes the work, the contractor will notify ESA. Ask for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Acceptance for your records and insurance; 
  • ESA will inform the utility that it is safe to reconnect; and
  • The utility will reconnect when it is able to do so.