What to Do When There’s an Electrical Emergency at Home
A home electrical emergency feels more inconvenient than dangerous, but even minor issues can cause serious damage.
Having an electrical emergency plan in place means you can act quickly and prevent sitting in the dark for hours…
So, what’s an electrical emergency?
Read on to learn the four types of electrical emergencies and what you can do in each scenario to keep you and your family safe.
1. Power Outages
A power outage, or blackout, can result from a number of things. To stay safe, treat the situation as if everything that could go wrong, did.
Start by turning off the main power connected to cooling and heating appliances. To protect your appliances, turn off the branches before switching off the main circuit.
Next, look at the source of the power outage. If the circuit breaker tripped, look for overloaded outlets or extensions. Shift appliances to different outlets to balance the electrical load.
Check your home’s wiring and the circuit breaker for signs of wear and tear. Attempting to fix these issues without training is extremely dangerous – call in a qualified electrical contractor to keep safe.
Lastly, contact your power distributor to check if the problem is on their end. They’ll be able to give you estimates about when the power will return.
2. Electrical Shocks
Damaged or frayed cords and faulty outlets can have some shocking consequences.
If someone in your family experiences an electrical shock, turn off the power supply to prevent further electrocution. If you can’t reach the breaker quickly, use an insulated item like a PVC pipe or wooden rod to cut the contact between the person and the electrical source. Make sure to not directly touch anyone in contact with electricity.
Call the local emergency service and follow their instructions.
3. Electrical Fires
The causes of electrical fires are more common than you might think.
The first thing to do is switch off the power supply that started the fire. This reduces the risk of electrical shocks and keeps the fire from relighting every time you put it out.
Use a Class C fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Aim at the base of the fire and keep spraying until the fire is gone.
Smoldering objects can reignite if the power supply is switched back on, so call the local fire brigade even if you’ve extinguished the fire.
If you are unable to extinguish the flames, evacuate the building and call the fire brigade.
4. Fallen Power Lines
Downed power lines threaten your life and property and must be handled with caution.
Stay at least 40 feet away from the line. It may be live even without giving off sparks, lights, or sounds. Check for potential conductive materials (metal fences, fallen limbs, puddles, vehicles, etc.) and steer clear of them too! Don’t touch anything that is in contact with or surrounding the downed power line.
Contact your local authorities and let them know where the fallen power line is. They can switch off that area to prevent electrical shock.
Stay Calm During an Electrical Emergency
In the event of an electrical emergency, the best thing you can do is to remain calm. Panicking prevents you from thinking clearly to keep yourself and those around you safe. When in doubt, call in the experts and let them handle the situation!
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Stay at Least 40 Feet Away
A fallen line may be live even if it does not give off sounds, sparks, and lights. To avoid any mishap, maintain a distance of at least 40 feet from the power line. Also check for any metal fences, fallen limbs, puddles or vehicles that could act as conductive materials and pose an electrical hazard.
Don’t Touch Any Object or Tree That is in Contact With the Fallen Power Line
Trees that are in contact with fallen power lines can be conductive. Even if you are not sure if the power line is live, avoid any contact with electrical materials that are touching the tree or surrounding it.