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Fire and Life Safety Concerns During Flood Events

Flood Information from the National Fire Protection Association can be found here.

Flood Information from FEMA/ can be found here.

Flood Information from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division can be found here.

Basic Safety Tips (

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and two feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the primary cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.
  • If floodwaters rise around your vehicle but the water is not moving, abandon it and move to higher ground. Do not leave the vehicle and enter moving water.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

Fires Due to Improper Cooking

It is possible a flood event could cause your home to lose power. To reduce the risk of fire and Carbon Monoxide exposure, never use outdoor cooking appliances (gas/charcoal grills, etc) inside your home.

Fires Due to Improper Heating

In the event that you need to heat your home during a power loss, never use cooking appliances as heat sources. Use space heaters only according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Carbon Monoxide alarms should be in place any time non-electric space heaters are used.

Fires Due to Improper Lighting

In the event of a power outage, never use candles or other open flame sources to provide light. Be prepared before the storm with an adequate number of flashlights and batteries.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Exposure

CO, often called "the silent killer," is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fossil fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, charcoal, methane or wood do not burn properly or in a properly ventilated area.

CO poisoning can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or cars left running in garages. CO poisoning can also occur when propane or charcoal grills are used indoors. NEVER USE A PROPANE OR CHARCOAL GRILL INDOORS.

The symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea, and drowsiness. Exposure to undetected high levels of Carbon Monoxide can be fatal.

If you suspect CO poisoning, immediately move to a fresh air location, preferably outside. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call 9-1-1 and remain at a fresh air location until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.


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Jonathan Jones,   State Fire Marshal

141 Monticello Trail, Columbia, SC 29203

(803) 896-9800 | Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. | Monday - Friday except   State Holidays

Changes Due to Hazardous Weather or Emergencies can be found listed at   Status of State Government Offices.