How To Deal With An Electrical Emergency

How To Deal With An Electrical Emergency

Electrical emergencies can strike anytime, often without warning, disrupting your life in more ways than one. The electrical systems and devices used daily can suddenly become potential threats. This could result from a myriad of factors, such as faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or damaged appliances, to name a few. When such issues arise, they bring inconvenience and pose significant risks to your safety and well-being.   

Therefore, it’s crucial to understand how to handle such emergencies effectively and safely. A fundamental rule of thumb is to remember that while some preliminary actions can be taken by individuals, addressing an electrical emergency should primarily be the work of trained professionals. For instance, a highly skilled level 2 electrician from and similar reliable websites can be a valuable resource during such emergencies. They’re equipped with the necessary skills and certifications to safely handle complex electrical situations that demand higher expertise.  

However, as a homeowner, it’s also essential that you know the necessary steps to take during an electrical emergency. These include the following:

  1. Turn Off The Power 

One of the first responses to an electrical emergency is to turn off the power. This action reduces the risk of electrocution and fire.

To turn the power off, locate the house’s main circuit breaker, usually found in the garage, basement, or utility area. Then, flip the switch to ‘Off.’

However, it’s essential to note that electrical panels vary in design. So, if you’re unsure, consult a professional electrician to properly turn off the power during an emergency.  

  1. Call An Ambulance  

Wasting no time and calling an ambulance right away is one of the crucial things you need to do if there are victims of electricity-related injuries. In addition to that, don’t forget to share sufficient details of the incident while at it. This is to ensure that the paramedics will come to your home prepared and well-equipped.

  1. Determine The Type Of Emergency

It’s also essential to consider the type of emergency being dealt with. This way, you’ll know exactly the best steps to take. Some common types of electrical emergencies include: 

  • Power Outage: In case of a power outage, make sure to verify if it affects only the property or if it’s a larger area that’s involved. If it’s the former, it might be a problem with the property’s electrical system, which requires professional assistance. If it’s the latter, report the outage to the local power company. Meanwhile, use a battery-powered light source instead of candles to prevent accidental fires. 
  • Electric Fire: If an appliance is smoking or sparking, unplug it immediately if it’s safe to do so. If not, switch off the circuit that powers the appliance from the electrical panel. Avoid using a fire extinguisher or water on an electrical fire, as it can potentially intensify the situation. Instead, use a Class C-rated fire extinguisher designed for electrical fires. If the fire escalates, evacuate the premises and call 911 immediately. 
  • Electrocution: If an individual has been electrocuted, don’t attempt to touch them directly, as the body can act as a conductor, leading to potential electrocution. Instead, turn off the power source, call 911, and if trained, begin administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).  

Knowing the various types of electrical emergencies allows you to handle the situation more effectively and prevent more serious accidents and injuries.   

  1. Keep A Safe Distance From The Electrical Hazards 

Electrical wires and cables that are exposed, damaged, or fallen can pose a significant risk. Thus, it’s crucial to maintain a safe distance from such hazards. For example, if a wire falls on a vehicle, the safest thing to do is stay inside the vehicle until professionals arrive. This is because stepping out can create a path for electricity to the ground, leading to electrocution. 

On the other hand, a circuit that constantly trips can indicate an overloaded circuit or a serious wiring issue. So, if a specific appliance is causing the circuit to trip, unplug it and call an electrical professional. If the breaker continues to trip after the appliance is unplugged, it could point toward a more serious issue within the home’s electrical system. Avoid using heavy-duty electrical equipment all at once, as it can overwhelm the electrical system. 


There’s no denying that safety should always be the top priority in an electrical emergency. And although it can be tempting to try and fix the issue independently, electricity isn’t something to experiment with. Contact reliable professionals who’ve undergone extensive training. This is to ensure they can handle such situations safely and efficiently.  

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