Knowing what to do in the event of an electrical emergency can minimize damage and save lives. Consider the following guidelines for emergency situations.
Electrical emergency #1: The power goes out
First, check to see if your neighbors still have electricity. If they do, the issue could be with your home’s electrical system. Know where your circuit breakers are located and how to check and reset circuit breakers.
If the power outage affects more than just your home, you can report it to your electric utility. Turn off all lights and major appliances, including computers and televisions, in case of voltage fluctuations and momentary power surges. When power returns, turn on lights and appliances one at a time.
A home backup generator can supply critical power during an outage. Are you considering purchasing a generator for your home? Consult a licensed electrician before purchasing and installing, and make sure it is approved by your electric utility.
Electrical emergency #2: Power lines are down
Stay away from all electric wires that have fallen down, as they may be live. Never touch a fallen power line, or anything or anyone in contact with it. If someone is in a car that is touching fallen lines, do not touch them or the car. Instead, call the power company immediately. Those who are in a vehicle that has come into contact with a live electrical wire should remain inside the vehicle until help arrives. If you must leave the vehicle, avoid making contact with the vehicle and ground at the same time and try jumping from the vehicle, landing with both feet together.
Do not touch anyone in contact with a power source. If you see a person come into contact with indoor, low-voltage electricity, attempt to switch the power off, if possible, and use a non-conductor (dry wood, rope, broom handle) to separate the person from the current. If the person has come into contact with high-voltage, outdoor wires, call 911 and then the local electricity supply company immediately. Do not attempt to touch the person or to try to free the person from the wires. Stay at least 100 feet away from any downed wires at all times. In all cases of electric shock, seek medical treatment and advice immediately.
Electrical emergency #3: Electrical equipment catches on fire
Never use water on electrical fires, equipment, or wires. If the fire is small, use baking soda or a multipurpose fire extinguisher. If possible, cut off power at the control panel. Call 911 as soon as possible and be sure to report that it is an electrical fire. If electrical equipment catches fire, unplug it, or interrupt power at the main switch.
Guard against fires by disposing of faulty appliances and getting electrical installations checked regularly. Install smoke detectors in your home and have an evacuation plan.
Electrical emergency #4: You smell gas in your home
An odorant is added to natural gas so that you can recognize if it is leaking. If you smell a faint odor of gas or a rotten-egg-type smell, open windows and doors throughout the home and immediately call the gas company.
If the smell of gas in your home is very strong, leave your home immediately. Do not operate any gas or electric appliances, or turn any light switches on or off. Do not light a match or use the telephone. Call the gas company from outside your home.
Prevent Electrical Emergencies with Help From Prime Electrical
At Prime Electrical Service, we strive to prevent such emergencies from happening in the first place with prevention services like uninterruptible power supply, standby generators, and surge protection. Call us today at 610-994-0290 for more information.