Before going into any flood-affected part of your home, make sure it is safe to do so.
You should consider:
- the structural safety of the building
- the safety of electrical and gas supplies, including electrical appliances
- whether sewage systems are working correctly
- the potential to slip, trip or fall in mud and water
- whether any spiders, snakes or debris are present.
Measures you can take to stay safe when entering a flooded home are listed below.
You should wear non-slip footwear, protective clothing and puncture-resistant gloves while cleaning-up. Use disinfectant.
Food and drinks
Never consume food or drinks that have been in contact with floodwater.
Lights and torches
Use a torch to carry out inspections inside buildings - never use matches, candles or lighters.
If power points, electrical equipment or electric hot-water systems have been exposed to floodwater or are water damaged in any way, have them inspected by a qualified electrician before use.
Turn off all appliances at the power point as they may be affected by a surge when the power comes back on.
Gas appliances and gas bottles that have been exposed to floodwater should be inspected before use.
If drying clothing, keep wet clothing at least 1m from heaters or fireplaces and never leave them unattended.
If you use a clothes dryer make sure you clean the lint filter after every time you use it.
Chemicals and fuels
If you have a garage or shed, take extra care with any stored chemicals and fuels.
Handle with extreme caution and use the recommended protective equipment such as gloves and safety goggles.
If you are concerned about contact with chemicals, contact your local fire station for advice.