keeping safe at home

Here’s a long, but useful, list of do’s and don’ts to help keep you and your family safe at home.

What to do right now

Bottled water or boiled bowser water remains the only safe source of drinking water until further notice.

The water supply in Cheltenham is expected to be back on tap early this week. As soon as we know for certain it’s safe to drink, we will be letting you know through this website.

In the meantime, please make sure all your taps are turned off to avoid your bathroom and kitchen being flooded, and to help with Severn Trent’s cleansing operation when the supply is restored.

What to do when the water supply returns

Do use the water for flushing toilets, bathing and taking a shower.

Do not

  • drink the water – even after boiling it
  • use the water for food preparation or washing dishes
  • use the water for ice making
  • use for cleaning your teeth
  • use for making baby feeds

Read on for lots of useful tips about electricity, gas and telephone services, plus advice on cleaning up after flooding.


Your electricity supply may need checking if you have been flooded. Please call the Central Networks emergency help line on 0800 096 119.

Do tell your electricity supplier if your meter has been affected, and they will arrange an inspection separately.

To find a registered electrician or to obtain information on testing electrical equipment call the Electrical Safety Council on 0870 040 0561 or go to

Do not

  • use any mains powered appliances that have been in contact with water until they have been checked by a registered electrician
  • go near any exposed wiring, as it may still be live
  • attempt any electrical repairs or connection of temporary supplies yourself – always use a registered electrician


Make sure that you turn off the gas supply to appliances that have been flooded and have the system checked by CORGI registered engineer before use.


If your telephone or broadband service is not working please contact your telecommunication provider(s). In the meantime, please do not attempt to touch any wiring or other telephone/broadband equipment.

Cleaning up after the flood

Please only start cleaning up if you are sure it is safe to do so. You may have problems with chemical pollution from materials stored in garages and garden sheds, so special care should be taken during any clean up.

Make sure you:

  • ask for advice from the Fire Rescue Service before attempting to pump water from your property. Their dedicated phone line is 01452 729 340
  • take great care when pumping water – petrol/diesel powered pumps are used in areas with poor ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning which can kill
  • wear protective clothing – waterproof boots, gloves, aprons and protective eyewear
  • cover any cuts with water proof plasters
  • wash all ‘cleaning up’ clothes in hot water and detergent and wash them separately from uncontaminated clothes
  • thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (including wall, appliances, furniture and floors) using a solution made up with hot water, which has been boiled, and detergent
  • avoid enclosed areas that may be chemically contaminated such as garages and cellars where hazardous fumes may build up. Ensure such confined areas are well-ventilated before entering and are not accessible to children and animals
  • portable generators, pumps, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane or natural gas devices should not be used indoors, as this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning which can kill. If you feel dizzy, have a headache or become disorientated, switch the appliance off straight away and get medical advice
  • remove and discard clothing items that are beyond repair. Wash all soft fabric items on a hot wash (60oC); this will destroy any germs. Anything that cannot be put into a washing machine should be dry cleaned.
  • throw away ALL food that has been in contact with sewage or flood water
  • wash your hands with soap and hot water after being in contact with flood water or items that have been contaminated
  • always wash your hands before eating or preparing food

Do not

  • remove car batteries, except with extreme care, as there may be a danger of electric shock, even after being submerged. Use insulated gloves and avoid contact with any acid that may have been spilt from the car battery
  • allow young children to play on timber floors, damaged tiled floors, in flood water or areas that have been contaminated, until these areas have been dried, cleaned, mended or exposed to sunlight for several days
  • try to salvage damaged food, including food in tins, as it may be contaminated
  • eat garden or allotment vegetables that have been contaminated with flood water – leave in the ground for at least two weeks and then use after thorough and careful washing and cooking

For further health information go to the Health Protection Agency website.

If you have any concerns about your health, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or go to the NHS Direct website.


1 Response to “keeping safe at home”

  1. 1 keeping safe at home « Water Leak Detection and Home Flooding Prevention Trackback on 30 July 2007 at 10:19 am
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