Hurricane Irma damage: How to stay safe from tree, water damage in your home

If you have damage to your home from a tree or water, there are certain steps you need to take to stay safe.

>> Watch the news report here

On Tuesday, WSB-TV’s Craig Lucie spoke with officials from a heating and electrical company who said there are hidden dangers like live wires in your home and carbon monoxide triggers that need to be dealt with immediately.

>> Irma: Live updates

There are trees down everywhere and while you know to stay away from downed power lines, there could also be live wires inside your home from trees falling.

>> Keep the butter, toss the eggs: What to keep, throw away if you lost power after Irma

“If you've had a tree come down on your home, nine out of 10 times you will have damage to the infrastructure on your home so wires could be pulled loose, certain connections could be broken (including) live wire you don't know about it,” said Daniel Jape, the president of Reliable Heating and Air.

>> How to keep your kids entertained and your sanity when trapped at home by severe weather

Jape met with Lucie in their call center where they were busy fielding calls from people with storm damage.

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“If a part of your heating unit is located in the basement or in a crawl space, what you want to do is a visual inspection. You don’t need to go all the way in there but if you see there is some standing water, you need to call a heat and air conditioning company to come out there and inspect it,” Jape explained.

If you try to fix it yourself, it can be extremely dangerous.

>> More Irma coverage from WFTVAction News Jax and the Palm Beach Post

“If you are standing in water and plug something in and the outlet is wet, you can create a direct short. Electricity will flow from the outlet, into you and into the water and you could essentially cause death,” he said.

>> Hurricane Irma damage: What to do during, after a power outage

Jape also said since wires to your home are hidden in the walls, if you try and plug something in an outlet, the wire could catch fire, setting the insulation on fire and next thing you know, your home could be engulfed in flames.

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He also says if a tree or branch came down near your HVAC system outside, call a professional.

“Things can hit those pipes and break them at home or inside house. They can even have carbon monoxide buildup in there,” he said.

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