Top 5 Home Electrical Emergencies and How to Short-Circuit Them

March 20, 2014
Ross and Witmer

Electricity helps us out every day. However, as most of us realize, in certain circumstances electricity can be a very dangerous thing. Knowing how to handle electrical emergencies is essential knowledge for any homeowner.

Electrical Emergencies

Here are five of the top emergencies that happen with electricity:

  1. Downed power lines – Do not touch, go near, or attempt to approach a downed powerline. Do not use a tree limb or other object to try to move it. The electricity can move through the device and then through your body to the ground.
  2. Home flooding – If your washer explodes or your basement becomes flooded, turn off the power. If the power box has water near it, use rubber gloves to turn the breaker off. Don’t touch the metal box, just the breaker. Once the water is gone, have an electrician inspect before restoring power.
  3. Electrical fire – Overloaded circuits or improperly installed wires can cause arcing and electrical fires. If you can reach the breaker box without becoming involved with the fire, shut off the power. Use an all-purpose fire extinguisher to put the fire out. If you cannot shut off the power or don’t have an appropriate fire extinguisher, call 911 and evacuate. In any event, have a professional electrician come out to inspect the wiring before you turn on the power again.
  4. Smoking or overheated appliances – If an appliance begins to overheat or starts smoking, cut the power. You can pull an electrical plug out of the wall or shut off the breaker. Do not use it again without checking the cord for wear or having an appliance repair person check the appliance.
  5. Overloaded extension cords – Never overload an extension cord. Prevention is critical here. Do not tuck them under rugs or in places where they might get worn. Check them periodically for wear. If there are any problems, replace it. If an overloaded cord begins to smoke, unplug it immediately.

If you have one of these electrical emergencies and need an electrician, please contact us here at Ross & Witmer. We proudly serve our neighbors in the Charlotte area.

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