Emergency Electrical Issues & Services Every Homeowner Should Know
Oct 7, 2023
Every homeowner, at some point in their life, will face an unexpected emergency related to their home's electrical system. Electrical emergencies can be daunting, and sometimes dangerous, but with the right knowledge and approach, they can be addressed safely and efficiently. In this blog, we will delve into common emergency electrical issues, how to cope with them, and when it's time to call in the professionals.
Emergency Electrical Issues You Should Know
Here are some of the top issues you might encounter as a homeowner.
1. Power Outages
Power outages can be caused by various factors, from heavy storms and fallen trees to blown fuses or more severe issues with the local grid. If your house loses power:
- Check if your neighbors have also lost power. If they have, it's likely a broader issue.
- Call your local power company to report the outage.
- Turn off all major electrical appliances to prevent surges when the power returns.
- If the outage is exclusive to your home and persists, consider calling a professional electrician.
2. Tripped Circuit Breakers
Circuit breakers trip when there's an overload, preventing electrical fires. If a breaker trips:
- Unplug any recently added electrical devices.
- Reset the breaker by turning it off and then on.
- If it continues to trip, you may have too many devices on that circuit or a possible short. Call an electrician if you can't identify the problem.
3. Electrical Sparks or Smells
A burning smell or visible sparks from an outlet are major red flags.
- Immediately shut off power to the affected area using your home's breaker box.
- Avoid using the outlet or switch until a professional checks it.
- Never try to put out an electrical fire with water. Use a fire extinguisher designed for electrical fires.
4. Exposed Wires
Exposed electrical wires can lead to shocks or electrical fires.
- Do not touch exposed wires.
- Turn off the circuit breaker for that area.
- Call an electrician to make the necessary repairs.
5. Water Leaks or Flooding
Water intrusion can cause damage to outlets, light fixtures or the electrical panel.
- Catch leaks quickly.
- Protect outlets and light fixtures from water intrusion, rain, snow or flooding.
When to Hire a Professional
While some minor electrical issues can be resolved with basic knowledge and safety precautions, it's essential to recognize when a professional is needed. Here are signs you should call an electrician:
- Persistent issues even after troubleshooting.
- Burnt or sparking outlets.
- Flickering lights.
- Unusual sounds from your electrical system.
- Anytime you feel out of your depth.
Services Electricians Offer
An experienced electrician can:
- Inspect and Repair: From faulty wiring to malfunctioning circuit breakers, they can diagnose and fix the problem.
- Upgrade: If your home's electrical system is old, an electrician can update the wiring or entire electrical panel to modern standards, ensuring safety and efficiency.
- Install: Whether it's lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, or new outlets, a professional will ensure it's done correctly.
- Advise: Electricians can offer guidance on energy-saving solutions, safety upgrades, and more.
Tips for Coping with Emergency Issues
The golden rule for handling electrical emergencies is safety first. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of those in your home. Here's what you can do:
- Stay Calm: Panic can exacerbate the situation. Take deep breaths and evaluate the situation rationally.
- Know Your Breaker Box: Familiarize yourself with your home's electrical panel. Knowing how to turn off power to specific sections of your home can be a lifesaver.
- Prepare an Emergency Kit: This should include flashlights, candles, matches, a battery-operated radio, and a charged power bank for your mobile devices.
- Emergency Contacts: Always have the number of a reliable local electrician at hand. It's also good to know the number of your local power company.
Electrical emergencies can be intimidating, but with the right knowledge and a calm approach, they are manageable. Always prioritize safety and never hesitate to call in a professional when in doubt. Remember, your home's electrical system is a vital component, and its health and safety are paramount.