Even in the most carefully maintained homes things can go wrong. There is one thing in every home that we don’t really think about, but could actually pose a real danger under certain conditions, and that is electricity. If you see and smell smoke coming from an outlet or an electronic device, it may be the start of much bigger trouble! Do you know what to do in an electrical emergency? If you aren’t sure, then read on!
What to do
The first and most important thing you should always do during an electrical emergency is turn off the power source if it’s safe to do so. Locate the circuit breaker box and shut down your home’s power supply to avoid escalation into more serious issues like fire.
Then be sure to get in contact with your local utility company to let them know, they might also have advice for how to proceed depending on the situation. Having the number of an emergency electrician easily accessible is always a good idea, they can often be there sooner than the utility company, and will know exactly what to do!
Meanwhile, here are some more pointers on how to handle an electrical emergency to keep you, your family, and your home safe while you wait for professional help to arrive. Always remember, people’s safety comes first, protecting goods and property comes last when lives may be at stake. If the electrical issue results in a fire, exit your home immediately!
Even though serious electrical issues aren’t very common, preparing for the worst is always the best plan. Make sure to have a safety exit strategy ready to go and keep a fire extinguisher handy in an easy-to-access location. Inspect your smoke detectors regularly to make sure that they are functioning properly. Call emergency services immediately if things look like they are going to get out of hand, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Here are some of the possible electrical emergency situations you may face:
Electrical Fires – These typically start from faulty wires and damaged appliances. These types of fires are extremely dangerous, so it’s vital that you stay far away from the fire and call for help immediately. After the fire is put out, your trusty local electrician should inspect your home’s electrical system before you consider turning everything back on.
Burnt Outlet – When an outlet gets too hot, it can easily cause a fire. If you start to see a brownish or black colour emanating from the outlet it means your circuit is probably dangerously overloaded. Unplug everything right away to prevent any further damage.
Wet Electric Items – Electrical appliances can sometimes get wet. Water and electricity are a recipe for disaster. Especially be cautious of fuses and circuit breakers. Be sure to contact a professional electrician who knows what to do, and never touch live wet equipment yourself!
The Australian government also has information on electrical emergencies, so be sure to check with them as well.