Flood Safety in BC
If you are in an area of the province preparing for higher than usual water levels and potential flooding, be aware there are serious gas and electrical safety implications to consider.
For flood safety, if extreme weather is expected and time permits, try to:
- Make sure any electrical panels, boxes and plugs have covers which stay closed.
- Have a licensed gas contractor cap the gas pipe leading to appliances.
- Relocate or remove electrical appliances and have a licensed contractor isolate electrical circuits
- Secure propane tanks to a stable structure to keep them from floating away.
- Consider installing a Canadian-certified hard-wired surge suppressor directly to your home’s main electrical panel. In most cases, a licensed electrical contractor is required for installation.
If you must evacuate:
- Ensure that all valves and power knobs on all appliances and systems are turned off.
- Shut off the water leading to and from hot water tanks.
- Secure propane tanks to a stable structure to keep them from floating away in the event of a flood.
Important flood safety information regarding natural gas:
If you have natural gas and are under evacuation order, you may be confused about whether or not to turn off your natural gas. Always listen to the authorities and use the following as a guideline:
- If natural gas is supplied by Fortis BC or Pacific Northern Gas (PNG): Do not shut off your natural gas if you receive an evacuation order. If fire or emergency officials request Fortis BC or PNG to do so, they will turn off the natural gas service as a precautionary measure, or if there is an immediate threat to a Fortis BC or PNG infrastructure.
- If gas is provided by propane or other utility providers, shut off the main gas supply upstream of the gas meter or at the propane tank or cylinder.
Returning home after floods
- Wait to return until the area of occupancy and contents have been declared safe by the proper authorities.
- Look for electrical and gas equipment which may have been exposed to floodwaters. Never turn these items on until they have been looked at by a licensed gas or electrical contractor as moisture, debris and contaminants in flood-damaged equipment or appliances can sometimes be hidden and cause serious risks. To locate one in your area, visit our Find a Contractor page. Please note, Technical Safety BC does not complete inspections of equipment after flooding.
- If your power has been turned off, contact your power / gas supplier (e.g., BC Hydro, Fortis, etc.) to have it turned back on.
Our flood safety article was updated in February, 2020