6 Common Electrical Emergencies
In this blog, we will discuss six common electrical emergencies:
● Power outages
● Electrical fires
● Electrical shocks
● Noisy breaker boxes
● Lights flickering constantly
● Burnt outlets
The electricity in our homes and the businesses we frequent run so efficiently that, most of the time it doesn’t cross our mind. Entropy affects everything, however, and electrical emergencies can and will occur.
Here are six common types of electrical emergencies to look out for.
1. Power Outage
Power outages may be the most common electrical emergency and can happen for a number of reasons. A nasty storm or earthquake might down a power line, causing instantaneous darkness around your home.
This could be potentially dangerous. If a power outage happens, be sure to turn off the main heating and cooling appliances connected to the circuit breaker. Doing this can prevent a power surge when your electricity comes back on.
If it’s not a downed power line, the cause of your power outage may be your circuit breaker itself; It could be overloaded or have faulty wiring. If so, consider contacting your local professional.
2. Electrical Fire
An electrical fire occurs when an overload or faulty wiring in your circuit breaker doesn’t result in a power outage.
This situation is obviously more dangerous, and you should contact emergency services immediately and cut off the power supply.
3. Electrical Shock
Exposed wires or faulty outlets can have you or someone you know come in direct contact with electricity. This can be dangerous and even fatal. If an electric shock happens, turn off the power supply immediately and contact emergency services.
DO NOT touch a person who is receiving an electrical shock. Use a non-conductive tool like a plastic or wooden stick to free them from the conductive object or area.
Once they are not in contact with the conductive object, administer CPR if you have the knowledge.
4. Noisy Breaker Box
When something that usually doesn’t make noise starts to make noise, you may have a serious problem. A small, consistent hum is normal on a circuit breaker. However, if it’s louder than usual or you hear crackling or sizzling, then you have an emergency situation. In this case, the system may be overloaded.
DO NOT touch the circuit breaker. Instead, contact a trusted professional who offers 24/7 emergency service.
5. Lights Flickering Consistently
Have you ever been sitting in a room and all the lights dim for a split second, then return to normal? If you have, this can pose more of a threat than you might think.
If it happens inconsistently, then it may mean one or more of your HVAC systems just kicked on, causing a dip in light. This is a nonissue.
However, if this happens frequently, it could mean you have an overloaded circuit or your wiring has become faulty. This is an issue that should be dealt with immediately by a local electrician.
6. Burnt Outlet
Most people don’t know this, but burnt outlets pose a significant risk to your safety. Many people mistakenly touch burnt outlets, only to get shocked.
Avoid touching your outlet at all costs if you see or smell smoke coming from it or burn marks around it. Never plug in something afterward, and wear nonconductive protection if you need to unplug things from it.
An electrical overload generally causes burnt outlets, so you likely have too many things plugged in. Learn the wattage of your outlets ahead of time, and don’t plug in a higher-powered adapter.
Ordinary people can’t fix burnt outlets, so leave it to the professionals to deal with the cause and fix it.
Common Signs of an Electrical Emergency
A variety of things can cause electrical hazards and emergencies. As a homeowner and civilian, it is more important to understand what to watch out for concerning electrical emergencies rather than how to stop them.
Here are some common signs of an electrical emergency:
● Your electrical wires are fraying due to high heat, pests, natural deterioration, and home construction work.
● Your electrical breakers and fuses often blow out, which may indicate issues with your entire electrical system.
● You notice smoke and sparks coming from your outlets, wires, appliances, or breaker.
● Your outlets are not outputting at full power.
● You smell a burning odor.
If your home or office building has any of these signs, it is time to call for professional electrical repair.
How to Prevent Electrical Emergencies
While these tips aren’t guaranteed to stop all electrical emergencies – after all, certain emergencies like electrical breakers blowing out are commonly caused by electrical surges – you should follow these tips to prevent unnecessary emergencies.
Leave Electrical Installations to the Pros
Electricity was shrouded in mystery for thousands of years, and humans have only been able to harness it for around 250 years. While electrical professionals may not have such a storied history with electricity, thanks to the research of their forefathers, they have a much greater mastery and understanding of it.
If you don’t understand how to fix a burnt outlet and understand circuitry, it isn’t time to bust out YouTube because you’ll likely make the situation worse. Not to mention, all electrical emergencies are dangerous to deal with, and you are put at unnecessary risk dealing with them as someone untrained.
Not only are electrical emergencies unsafe to deal with if you aren’t a trained professional, but in many cases, they are illegal to deal with. Tampering with power lines, electrical poles, and public electrical boxes is unlawful, and you will face fines, if not worse, so it is best to wait it out.
Know How to Avoid Electrical Fires
Electrical fires can be caused by many avoidable causes, like improper light fixtures and outdated appliances.
While not all electrical fires are unavoidable, look to the previously mentioned signs and electrical fire section for guidance on how to better avoid them. Try to replace old appliances, and do not overburden your outlets. Additionally, try to use quality name-brand products.
Don’t Wait for the Light to Fade
Some electrical emergencies happen in a flash, others show themselves over time. Either way, an electrical emergency is an emergency and should be handled swiftly.
SoCal Electrical & Lighting offers 24/7 emergency services all around the Palm Springs Valley area. Whether you want to make sure your new construction has a safe electrical system installed or your current home needs a safety upgrade, you can rely on SoCal to get the job done!
Request an online quote or give us a call at 760-699-2686!