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General Guidelines Following Floods

Gas Safety

In the event of a flood, your gas supply may have been affected by water entering the gas system. If you find any of your gas appliances fail to work, turn off your gas at the meter and contact the National Grid Emergency Line on 0800 111 999. The following information will be required when reporting a fault:

  • The address/location of the suspected gas emergency
  • How many people are at the property where the smell is most noticeable
  • How long the smell has been noticeable
  • Is the smell coming from the cellar/basement
  • Are any neighbours affected
  • Your name and phone number
  • Any special circumstances or access information

In the event of a potential gas leak, along with turning your gas off at the meter, you should also:

  • Open doors and windows
  • Do not turn any electrical switches on or off
  • Extinguish all naked flames
  • If you are a council tenant and have any concerns over gas heating systems, phone your housing repairs number.

Electricity Supply

If your property is at risk of flooding, switch of your electricity supply at the fuse box. If floodwater has entered your property through any openings or under the floor, DO NOT switch any electrical appliances on or touch any switches. Your property must first be inspected and declared safe by an electrician.

Emergency Contact Numbers:

SSE Power Distribution (North of Scotland): 0800 300 999
ScottishPower Energy Networks: 0845 27 27 999

Telephone Lines

If your telephone lines have been damaged due to flood water, you can contact BT on:

  • 0800 200 151  (From a landline)
  • 0330 123 4151  (From a mobile)
  • +44 179 359 6931 (From Abroad)

For any other faults which you wish to report (eg. Broadband, Television) visit the  BT website or alternatively contact your provider.

Royal Mail

Should you require to leave your home in the event of flooding, you will need to notify Royal Mail of a redirection address. This can be done by contacting your local Post Office or online at Royal Mail redirection.

Precautions to take following flooding

  • There is always a potential for cross contamination between flood water and sewage in the event of a flood and care must always be taken in the aftermath of a flood.
  • Minimise health risk when cleaning up by wearing protective clothing and strong gloves.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water after contact with floodwater, sewage or any items which have came into contact with these.
  • Ensure children do not play in floodwater areas. Any toys or belongings which have come into contact with floodwater should be discarded if possible or alternatively disinfected before use.
  • Open cuts or sores should be kept clean and not exposed to floodwater. All cuts should be covered by waterproof plasters.
  • If any sickness or symptoms develop in the aftermath of contact with floodwater such as vomiting and/or diarrhoea, medical advice should be sought.
  • If any contamination due to oil, diesel etc is experienced after the floodwater subsides, this can generally be removed using detergent solution and washing the surface down after initial cleaning has been completed. If the problem persists, advice can be sought from the local Environmental Health Section.
  • Elderly and vulnerable people who return to their homes following flooding may seek help and advice from the Community Care team. Further information can be obtained by contacting (01224) 693 936.

Gardens and Play Areas

  • Children should not be allowed play on affected grassed or paved areas until they have been cleaned and dried out.
  • Exposure to sunlight will help to destroy any potentially harmful bacteria remaining as a result of the floodwater.
  • Waterlogged equipment should be allowed to fully dry out before further use.

Inside the home

  • Disconnect the electrical supply by turning off at the fuse box.
  • Internal damage to the property should be reported to your insurance company prior to removing or disposing of any damaged belongings.
  • Dirty water and silt deposits should be removed from the property, including under the ground floor if a suspended timber floor is in use.
  • Hard surfaces should be thoroughly washed with soap and hot water and disinfected, particularly in and around food preparation areas.

Clothing and Bedding

  • All affected clothing, bedding and other soft fabric items should be laundered on a hot wash of 60C or above. Any fabrics or soft furnishings which cannot be cleaned should be disposed of.

Returning to the home

  • Only re-occupy the home once the property has been fully cleaned and is habitable once again.
  • If any additional works are recommended by the Insurance company, Landlord etc. this should be borne in mind before returning to the property.
  • If works are required to the gas supply, electricity supply etc. please ensure that this is only carried out by a competent certified person.

 Food Preparation and Storage

  • Food which has come into contact with floodwater or sewage should be disposed of.
  • All surfaces should be fully disinfected in food preparation areas.
  • Restaurants or any business which deals with the supply/preparation of food should seek advice from Environmental Health Officers.

Contaminated Drinking Water

  • Those supplied with water through the main supply should seek advice from Scottish Water to determine if the water supply has been contaminated.
  • If the water is received through a private supply, this should be thoroughly checked to see if the supply has been affected by floodwater. If this is the case, water should be boiled until the water supply has been tested and found to be safe.
  • All water related fixings should be cleaned and disinfected before use.

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