Follow the safety tips before using your equipment or systems.

Using a generator

If you use a generator, follow the rules for installing and using your generator:

  • Have a qualified technician connect your generator to your home’s electrical system through its panel and transfer switch.
  • Place the generator outdoors in a ventilated area and away from doors and windows (not in a garage). This will prevent exhaust fumes from entering your home.
  • Make sure it is firmly fixed to the ground.
  • Connect lights and appliances directly to the generator. If you use extension cords, they must be of the proper gauge and approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Learn more about generator safety This hyperlink will open in a new window. by visiting the Red Cross website.

Natural gas systems

Be careful when restarting your natural gas devices.

If your connections or devices have been closed following a disaster 

Do not open your connections or your devices yourself. You could put your safety at risk and damage your devices or even render them unusable.

Consult a certified natural gas contractor who holds a competency certificate so that they can check the condition of your devices and make the necessary repairs.

Contact your distributor’s customer service to make an appointment with a technician who can put your connection back into service and turn your devices back on.

If your natural gas devices, propane equipment or containers have been damaged 

Consult a certified natural gas contractor who holds a competency certificate so that they can check the condition of your devices and make the necessary repairs.

If you use propane-powered construction heaters to dry out your building, exercise caution and follow regulatory requirements:

  • You must not live in the building while the radiators are in use in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning This hyperlink will open in a new window..
  • The storage of propane cylinders inside the building is strictly forbidden, as gas leaks can cause an explosion.
  • Radiators must be installed on a horizontal, solid and non-combustible base.
  • Radiators must be installed at a safe distance from all combustible materials, in accordance with the standards indicated on the radiator nameplate.
  • An adequate air supply must be ensured (see nameplate).
  • If a flexible hose is used to supply propane to devices, it must be at least 4.6 m (15 ft) in length and not exceed 24 m (75 ft).

If your devices have not been damaged 

Contact your distributor’s customer service to make an appointment with a technician who can put your connection back into service and turn your devices back on in your presence.

Plumbing systems

Before using your plumbing fixtures, make sure that the municipal drainage system and your septic system are functional, then:

  • Clean or replace faucet outlets (aerators, shower heads, and flexible hoses).
  • Check and clean, if necessary, the plumbing fixtures outlets and make sure that they are in good working condition (including the inside of the toilet tank and the overflow of sinks and tubs).
  • Clean the retention tank and check the operation of the sump pumps.
  • Locate, verify and clean floor drains and check valves (protection against sewer back-up).
  • Have the condition of backflow prevention devices checked by a certified auditor, if applicable.

Drain, clean and replace water softener filters.

To learn more, consult the Post-disaster checklist – Plumbing This hyperlink will open in a new window. (French only) from the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec.

Septic systems

Septic tanks and pumping stations can fill with silt and debris and should be drained and cleaned by professionals. The recommendations listed below are provided to prevent damage.

During a flood 

Turn off, if you have not already, the electrical systems that power the water treatment systems.

Do not empty your septic tank or retention tanks, as this could damage the structures.

Avoid using treatment systems to prevent possible backflow of wastewater into the residence.

Consult the manufacturer’s guides or contact them for recommendations if the installation includes an NQ 3680-910 certified treatment system.

Avoid or minimize contact with floodwater.

After a flood

Avoid using treatment systems when the ground is still flooded or saturated with water.

Empty the septic tank as soon as possible after the flooding, when the ground is no longer saturated with water. Also empty the pumping station if there is one.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations if you have an NQ 3680-910 certified treatment system.

Have a competent professional inspect the septic system if you suspect a break or notice a malfunction.

Make sure that the septic tank covers are secure and that the inspection holes have not been blocked or damaged.

Examine all electrical connections, for damage, before restoring power. Make sure the devices are clean and dry.

Check the ground cover over the septic tank and field. Repair damage caused by erosion.

Clean the area and disinfect the floor if the sewage has backed up into the basement.

Do not drive a vehicle on a septic field to avoid soil compaction.