For those who live in areas within striking distance of a coastline, hurricane season can represent a stressful time of the year. Hurricane season officially begins in June but peaks from mid-August to October. Hurricanes and tropical storms can be tremendously destructive. They cause widespread devastation due to ceaseless high winds, torrential rains, and damaging storm surge. The best way to deal with the threat of tropical systems is through preparedness, so it’s important to have a plan, prepare your property, and have the proper supplies on hand prior to the storm making landfall.
While there are many preparations you must make to the superficial structure of your home that will help it fare better against the forces of a hurricane, your electrical system also needs attention during hurricane season. Electrical power is often severed during a tropical event, which can leave electrical services scrambling to restore power in the wake of a storm. One of the best ways to prevent damage to your electrical system and hazards to your safety is to consult with an electrician in Orlando, FL, at the beginning of peak hurricane season to determine any weaknesses in your system. Keep reading to learn ways that you can protect your electrical system during hurricane season.
The forces of nature that come to bear during a hurricane can damage the electrical grid infrastructure extensively. That can lead to power surges when the power is restored in the wake of a storm. Unfortunately, most homes aren’t equipped to deal with that situation, and appliances that are exposed to power surges can be damaged or destroyed by them. While you can use plug-in power surge protectors between wall outlets and important appliances, a better approach is to install a whole house surge protector. Doing so could save you a great deal of time and money by preventing damage to appliances that may cost thousands of dollars to replace.
You may think that the wiring in your home is up to code, but that could depend on where you live. If your home is in a flood plain or storm surge zone, the wiring in your structure shouldn’t include Romex or nonmetallic wiring. That type of wiring, common in household and commercial electrical applications, contains paper that can become saturated if it becomes wet. That creates a hazard that is both dangerous and destructive. Therefore, structures in the flood plain and surge zone should use underground wiring or UF wiring in order to meet code.
If you live in an area that may flood during a tropical event, it’s important that the rooms of the home at risk for flooding feature GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupt, outlets. These outlets will break the circuit when a ground fault occurs, as is common when flood waters come in contact with your electrical system. These simple, effective outlets can prevent not only damage to your electrical system, but also hazard to your health and safety. GFCI outlets are also necessary if you plan to power your home during an emergency with a portable generator. Along with a transfer switch, GFCI outlets can make the use of a portable generator after a storm as safe as possible.
If you live in an area that could be subject to the impact of a hurricane, make sure you observe these preparedness tips before a storm is upon you. To learn more about protecting your electrical system during a hurricane, contact In Phaze Electric at (407) 599-7777.