Electrical Emergencies: How to Deal with Them Before the Electrician Arrives

December 11, 2013
Ross and Witmer

Electricity is both your friend and your enemy. It helps run the lights and appliances in your home. However, when there’s an electrical emergency, you may find that electricity isn’t so friendly. Knowing what to do in electrical emergencies is important.

Here are some common emergencies related to electricity and what you should do:

The Electricity in Your Home Goes Out

  • Check the breaker box for any tripped breakers, and reset as needed.
  • If all the homes on your block are dark, you have an outage.
  • Report the outage to the electric company.
  • Turn off all major appliances and electronics to prevent surge damage when the power comes back on.
  • Keep a single lamp on so you’ll know the power comes back on.
  • Wait a few minutes after the power comes back before turning on lights and appliances.

Someone Touches a Live Wire

  • Do not touch that person while the wire is still alive.
  • Call 911.
  • If the live wire was a high voltage outside line, don’t do anything else and stay at least 100 feet away.
  • For lower voltage lines, try to turn off the power to the live wire.
  • If you cannot turn off the power, use a non-conductive object (wood or plastic) to move the live wire off the person.

Your Vehicle Comes into Contact with a Live Wire

  • You should stay in the vehicle until emergency personnel arrive.
  • If have to leave the vehicle, don’t touch the ground and the vehicle simultaneously.
  • Jump from the car and shuffle at least 100 feet away.

You Have an Electrical Fire

  • Don’t use water to try to extinguish an electrical fire.
  • Cut power to the fire if possible by unplugging the source or tripping the breaker.
  • Call 911 as soon as possible.

Electricity can become dangerous in the wrong hands. Do what you have to do in electrical emergencies, but leave the repairs to the electrical professionals.

For help with your electrical issues, contact Ross & Witmer. We’ve been proudly serving the Charlotte area since 1945.

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