When you should call an Emergency Electrician
Fortunately most people never experience an electrical emergency, but, with electricity, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so it is as well to know the signs and be prepared, as you never know what is going to happen.
Because electricity is invisible, it is easy to take for granted. We just plug in our appliances and, usually, they work. But electricity is dangerous and, if you experience any problems, you should always exercise caution and be aware of potential hazards that could threaten the safety of your family, friends or work colleagues.
Some electrical repairs can wait for a more convenient time but some issues need to be dealt with immediately. The National Fire Protection Agency estimate that over 45,000 home fires in 2011 had electrical problems as their cause, resulting in just over 400 deaths, 15,000 injuries and $1.4 billion in damage to property. Thousands of people suffer electric shocks each year. Many of these situations could be prevented by calling an emergency electrician.
Signs of an electrical emergency
Exposed wires are a shock hazard and a fire risk. If you find any exposed wires, cordon off the area to ensure that people and pets are kept at a safe distance. This is especially important if the wires are in contact with water as then the water also becomes hazardous.
Smoke or a burning odor coming from a receptacle or outlet
Even if you stop using it, an outlet or receptacle that is emitting smoke or a burning odor is a fire risk. As most of your wiring is hidden behind the walls, serious problems may not easily be seen, but can quickly escalate.
Crackling noises and sparks coming from switches
These are signs that you have a problem with your wiring. Again, as most of it is hidden from view, it is not always easy to tell how serious the problem is without expert assistance, but damage to wiring is a fire risk.
Breakers no longer controlling their circuit or repeated tripping
If a circuit breaker trips repeatedly, and it is not broken and there are no obvious causes, such as a power hungry appliance connected to an already heavily used circuit, or if you switch a breaker on but you get no power in the relevant circuit, then it is probable that the circuit is overloaded. This can lead to arc faults which are also a fire hazard.
If you have no power at all, first check with your neighbors to see if it is a more widespread problem that your power company will have to deal with. If it is just your home, and you cannot find an obvious cause, then you need expert help.
If you see any of the above signs, you need to take action promptly. If you have or think you already have a fire, then call 911 and evacuate the building. Otherwise, you should call an emergency electrician.
Many electrical contractors offer 24/7 emergency cover and reputable companies will be able to discuss your situation and advise you on the best action to take. They may suggest clearing the affected area and making sure everyone in the building is awake and so can evacuate quickly, if necessary. A qualified electrician can be sent to your home immediately to make it safe.
Electrical problems don’t fix themselves, and if you ignore them, they are only going to get worse. So don’t delay, if you have an electrical emergency, call an emergency electrician.