AS damage from recent storms and bad weather is assessed, a Gwent MP is promoting safety advice.

Islwyn MP Chris Evans – along with the charity Electrical Safety First – is warning people to be cautious about their electrical wiring and items in flooded houses.

While people want to get back to their houses as soon as possible, they need to be aware of the potential dangers.

Both the charity and Mr Evans are urging people returning to their flood-hit houses to turn off the electricity at the fuse box, unplugging any electrical devices that are damaged or may be damaged and to avoid any exposed wiring.

After this, they should contact a registered electrician to have the damage assessed.

Mr Evans said: “It is completely understandable people are keen to get back into their homes but the last thing we want is anyone getting hurt because of damaged electrics in their house.

“These floods have had a major impact on our communities, and it is important advice like this is available to get people back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.”

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Parts of the MP’s constituency was one of the areas hit hardest by Storm Dennis.

Electrical Safety First’s Robert Jervis-Gibbons added: “Floods like the ones we’ve seen in Wales in recent weeks are terrible ordeals for those involved.

“Aside from the immediate devastation they can cause, flooding also throws up dangerous electrical hazards which require close attention when you return to your home.”

The charity has put together a list of do’s and don’ts for what to do when returning to your home.

Do

• 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.

Don’t

• 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.