Flooding Advice

Electrical safety after a flood

If you have been affected by flooding, once the water has subsided it is understandable that you will want to go straight back into your home and try to get things back to normal.

However, there could be damage to the electrics in your property, so before you do anything, follow our advice.


  • Make sure the property is safe before you enter
  • Try to avoid direct contact with any water which remains. It may be contaminated
  • Have a torch at hand when entering the property
  • Switch off the electricity supply at the fuse box, if it is safe to do so. If there is evidence of water inside the fuse box or if there are signs of arcing or overheating, seek professional advice
  • Unplug damaged electrical appliances and move all portable ones away from the area affected by flooding
  • Arrange for other services, such as gas, to be switched off. Electricity and gas supplies should not be turned back on until you have had professional advice that it is safe to do so


  • Use candles to guide you when entering the property
  • Use any mains powered electrical appliances in areas affected by flooding until advised by a registered electrician that it is safe to do so
  • Go near any exposed wiring. It may still be live
  • Start to clean up or carry out repairs until you are sure it is safe to do so

Cleaning up and making repairs

  • Contact your insurance company, and landlord if applicable, for advice and to get approval to carry out any repairs. Take photos of the damage and keep records
  • Seek professional advice about the restoration of your property and hire appropriate and qualified professionals to undertake the repair work
  • Use a registered electrician to assess the condition and damage to electrical wiring, equipment and appliances that have been affected by the flood

Electrical Safety Advice

Do not attempt any electrical repairs or connection of temporary supplies yourself – always use a registered electrician

  • Arrange for a periodic inspection and test to be carried out on the property. The registered electrician will issue you with an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which will identify the condition of the wiring and equipment in need of repair
  • All of the portable appliances affected by the flood will need to be tested to make sure that they are safe for continued use, as well as fixed equipment such as electric cookers. However, the Portable Appliance Test (PAT) alone will not confirm that flood damaged appliances are safe to use. You should contact the manufacturer to check how much inspection and testing is necessary.
  • If the water damage to electrics is relatively minor and caused by clean water, i.e. a burst water pipe or tank, then it is likely that the registered electrician will just need to dry out cables and replace any accessories affected by the water (sockets, switches, plugs etc.)
  • If there is major flood damage to the electrics caused by clean or contaminated water, then it is likely that parts of the electrical installation will need to be rewired
  • When rewiring is necessary, ask the registered electrician about the possibility of raising the height of the newly installed electrical equipment, including raising the fuse box and sockets to above any future expected flood level

Fire and Rescue Assistance

The job of the Fire and Rescue Services is primarily to save lives, but they will assist in other ways in severe cases involving the evacuation process and help to limit the amount of damage to property wherever possible. If in any doubt, call the fire service for advice.

Useful Contact Numbers

Floodline: 0845 988 1188 (For England, Scotland & Wales)

For flood Information from local UK regions:

England: 0845 988 1188


Scotland: 0845 988 1188


Wales: 08708 506 506


Northern Ireland: 028 9054 0540


Fire Safety: www.facebook.com/firekills 

The Environment Agency emergency hotline:

0800 80 70 60

The National Flood Forum: 012 9940 3055


The Association of British Insurers: 020 7600 3333