While most electrical problems are minor, some situations can result in electrical emergencies that need to be addressed right away in order to mitigate risk to you and your family. If any of these things happen, call a St. Louis electrician immediately.
The four general types of electrical emergencies include:
- 1. Power outages
- 2. Electrical fires
- 3. Electrical shocks
- 4. Downed power lines
Let’s go over each.
These are the most common types of emergency, also referred to as power failures or blackouts. They can occur for any number of reasons, such as storms, downed power lines, or energy shortages. In case of a power outage, you need to:
1. Turn Off Main Power Source
Turn off the main power through the circuit breaker. Be sure to turn the branches off before you turn off the main circuit breaker. This will protect your appliances.
2. Check the Source
Some power outages occur as a result of a tripped circuit breaker, usually when an outlet has been overloaded. Are too many appliances plugged into one outlet or extension? If so, distribute the load better so the circuit breaker doesn’t keep tripping.
3. Check for Damaged Wiring or Breakers
If the power outage didn’t occur from a circuit overload, faulty wiring could be to blame. Check all wiring for signs of wear and tear. If you don’t see signs of damage, the outage could have been due to voltage fluctuations or a breaker issue.
4. Reset Appliances Safely
Once the power comes back on, give it a few minutes before you turn on your appliances, as energy fluctuations may pose damage to them. Turn the breaker on first.
Electrical fires are a result of overloading, exposed or faulty wiring or if a flammable object has been placed too close to a light bulb. Follow these steps in the event of an electrical fire:
1. Turn off the Power Supply
Cut the power supply first at the source, flipping the switch on the circuit breaker. This will halt the fire, reducing the shock risk.
2. Use a Fire Extinguisher
For an electrical fire, use a fire extinguisher rated Class-C. If you have cut the power supply, use a water-based fire extinguisher, rated Class A.
3. Call the Fire Department
Even if you have put out the fire, call the fire department, as smoldering objects may still catch on fire if you were not able to cut the power supply.
If the fire is out of control, leave the home and call the fire department.
Contact with frayed electrical wires and cords can result in electrical shock.
1. Switch off the Power Supply
Turn the power off as quickly as you can. If you are not close to the circuit, cut contact between the person and the electrical source, utilizing an insulated object such as a PVC pipe or wooden rod.
2. Don’t Touch the Person
When someone comes in direct contact with electricity, do not touch them.
3. Call 911
Call 911 and begin CPR or first aid if you are trained in it.
4. Unplug the Appliance
Switch off the branch circuits as well as the main breaker to cut the power supply to all appliances.
Downed Power Lines
Fallen power lines must be approached with extreme caution. When in close proximity to a downed power line:
1. Stay 40 Feet Away or More
A fallen line could be live even if it’s not making any sounds, sparks, or lights. Stay at least 40 feet away from the power line.
2. Don’t Touch Anything in Contact With the Power Line
Trees that have touched a down power line can be conductive, so avoid contact with any electrical materials that have touched the tree.
3. Contact the Power Company
If you see a dangling or downed power line, call your local power company to report it.
Emergency Electrician, St Chalres & O'fallon, MO
To maintain your family’s safety and ensure the above situations do not occur, cover all outlets with surge protectors and monitor the current flow by installing safety switches. Hire a trusted O’Fallon MO electrician to handle any upgrades, installations and repairs. Give us a today at 636-294-8562.