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Personal Safety

Flooded Basements are always a problem with large amounts of rain. The construction of the wall, whether reinforced poured concrete or block construction, has an effect on how to handle the basement water. If it’s not properly reinforced, the wall could collapse.

Personal SafetyNo matter what type of basement construction you have, don’t be in a big hurry to pump the water out. More damage could be caused by pumping it out too soon than by letting it remain. If you drain your basement faster than the water outside drains out of the ground, the outside pressure will be greater than the inside pressure, causing walls and floors to crack and possibly collapse.

Because dealing with a flooded area can be dangerous, extra safety precautions should be taken and common sense used. Below are some guidelines and measures to take when entering a flooded basement:

  • Shut off electricity in the basement but don’t do it standing in the water or risk electrocution. The electrical service panel is commonly in the basement and any shorted receptacles should trip the breakers. To shut off electricity, use a dry wooden stool which is higher than the water, wear rubber boots that aren’t wet inside, and wear rubber gloves. If it’s not possible, have the power company shut it off by the outside.
  • If a gas odor is present, turn off the main gas valve, do not touch any electrical fixtures, telephones, or switches-any spark may ignite the gas line! Leave immediately, leaving doors open to ventilate, and call the fire and gas company.
  • Do not smoke, eat, or touch your face (risk of water contamination).
  • Do not allow children or pets near the flooded basement.
  • Remember that the flooded area will be slippery, even after the water recedes.

These are safety measures to be taken seriously when in a flooded basement, your life and your home may depend on it!


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