Our health can be damaged in many ways and one of them is through touching a live wire. With the number and ferocity of storms these days, it is well to be aware of this and just how likely it can be for external power lines to come down during a storm without being noticed. Good electricians understand the danger , but many other people may be too busy looking at a fallen tree to notice the power lines entangled in its branches or on the sodden ground nearby.
This is especially so if that fallen tree has damaged some of their property like the roof, the car or even a fence around their home. Electric wires are not very visible on a dark, rainy night unless they are sparking. However, it’s important to know just where the power lines around your home are and look up instead of down, if a tree falls on or near your home.
The first you may know of such danger is when the lights go out. This makes it even more of a health hazard because you won’t be able to see too much without the power from your outside light or the street lights. You’ll have a torch to go and survey the damage and that light is not likely to be strong enough to see a wire on the ground, especially if it’s tangled up with tree branches and leaves.
Another part of the problem is the water on the ground. Water conducts electricity, so if there is a live wire in a puddle – which is likely when you have lots of rain – you can get fried just by stepping into the water next to it. In fact, you don’t even have to be all that close if the puddles are interconnected as they are bound to be during or straight after a storm.
So next time there is a storm in your area and the power goes out, just take care before stepping outside. Look up and see if those power lines are still swinging. If they are not, stay inside and call an electrician or the council to switch the power off at the mains before anyone gets electrocuted.
Of course, if the tree has fallen into your roof and penetrated the roof cavity there is likely to be damage to the wiring inside the house. It is a good idea to switch everything off at the mains, to prevent a short and a fire in the ceiling. This can cause damage even when rain is flooding into the house through the ceiling. Don’t forget about water being a conductor of electricity. So if you see any sparks up there, call for help and leave the house until it is fixed. You can replace things, but not people.