Recondition Lights in Flooded Homes

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Safe and efficient light is needed for many extra hours of clean-up work after flooding, says Mary Yearns, Iowa State University Extension housing specialist.

Do not plug anything into an electric circuit until house wiring has been approved for safe use.

To recondition floor or table lamps, start by completely disconnecting an disassembling them. Take out the light bulbs. Clean out moisture and sediment from the socket and switches. Clean bulbs with a damp cloth. Then dry thoroughly before replacing. Use a cloth wrung out in warm sudsy water to ash lamp bases, cords and plugs. Replace all damaged cords and plugs.

Before cleaning ceiling fixtures, turn off the house’s electricity at the main switch. Remove bulbs; clean and dry the socket openings. Clean all bulbs and shades of light fixtures before replacing them. This will give the most efficient use of light for clean-up work, Yearns said.

When using trouble lights, examine the cord to be sure there are no breaks.  Clean and dry the socket in the same way as for a portable lamp. As you extend the use of the cord to distant areas from the outlet, keep the cord high and dry. Avoid letting the cord run along wet or damp surfaces.

For your own safety, wear rubber gloves when disconnecting or reconnecting any electrical appliance and stand on a rubber mat when replacing fuses in the service box. Be sure to replace with correct size fuses; use no substitutes.

Source:  Iowa State University Extension Service