9 Common Electrical Emergencies You Should Know About
Updated: Apr 15
The electrical system in your home is crucial; without it, your day to day life will come to a halt. We require electricity for nearly all aspects of life, like lighting our homes, powering our entertainment systems, allowing us to work from home, keeping our homes warm or cool, heating water, preparing meals, and keeping us safe (with security systems).
With so many electric features in a home, or even your business premises, electrical issues can arise at any moment. While most electrical problems are minor and can be dealt with with ease, certain electrical problems require immediate attention.
Here are some common electrical emergencies you need to know about:
Fallen power lines
It’s just the beginning of the year, but New Zealand has already had storm warnings and tropical cyclone warnings too. Harsh storms with high winds can knock down power lines, while in other areas, fallen trees and other debris cause power lines to fall. These power lines supply electricity to neighbourhoods, and carry high levels of current that can lead to electrical fires, electric shock, and even death.
Whether power lines fall in your neighbourhood due to a storm or any other reason, never attempt to go near them or drive over them. They are incredibly dangerous and only professionals should deal with this issue. Make sure all family members and pets are kept away from the fallen powerlines and any related wires.
Noisy breaker box
Your home’s circuit breaker box should be silent at all times. Hums, crackles, and buzzes are all signs that something is wrong. The breaker box is protected by a circuit breaker that will trip if the voltage is too high or there’s some obstacle in the way.
A circuit breaker is a protective feature that should be functioning effectively at all times. When the circuit breaker doesn’t work properly, the circuit can begin to burn, causing the buzzing or humming sound.
An overloaded breaker box that isn’t able to trip is a fire hazard and can lead to electric shock. When you do notice noises coming from the breaker box, immediately turn off appliances in use.
If you suspect a burnt outlet, look for brown or black stains around it. A burnt outlet is a major electrical emergency as it indicates an overloaded outlet that can easily catch fire.
Avoid touching the outlet at all costs as you can get burned or electrocuted. Make sure you don’t try to plug in any device into that outlet as well. Check the rest of the outlets in your home too for brown stains.
Power outages can be a result of a storm wreaking havoc with the power lines, trouble with a local transformer, or an overloaded electrical system in the block.
Unexplainable power outages are a sign of a grave problem. It could be a result of a frayed wire that requires immediate attention—or else an electric fire can erupt. A professional will be able to guide you best and diagnose the problem.
A burning smell
The smell of burning wires, or burning in general is never a good sign. You already know that things have gotten out of control and a professional needs to take care of the situation at this point. The smell of burning rubber is a sign that some wire/wires are burning. Carefully switch off the power to your home and call an emergency electrician immediately.
You may have exposed wires in your home and not know about it for years. It only comes to your attention when something goes wrong. Exposed wires are a major fire hazard. If these wires come in contact with anything, they can start a fire. The best way to deal with exposed wires is to let a professional tackle it. If you’ve come across multiple exposed wires in your home, consider having your home inspected to repair all exposed wires.
A flooded home
Water damage due to a flood can take days to clean up. Upholstered furniture, in particular, experiences significant damage. Water damage can be due to natural flooding or a plumbing issue that has led to flooding indoors.
Other than dealing with the water damage and moisture, the flooding can damage the wiring on your property as well. If there has been significant water damage, consider having your home rewired by an experienced professional.
Residential electrical fires can be a result of severe weather, poor wiring, lightening, etc. Electrical fires can be fatal and cause injuries, along with significant property damage.
The most common culprit of electrical fires is poor wiring, which can be prevented by having your home rewired by an experienced professional. If an electrical fire does ignite in your home, immediately vacate the premises and call up a reliable 24-hour emergency electrician in the area.
An overloaded outlet
Putting too much pressure on a single outlet in your home can lead to a burned-out socket. If you continue to use that outlet despite it burning, it can erupt into flames.
Make sure you only don’t overload an outlet by plugging in too many appliances at once. If the outlet has burned out, call up a professional to repair it. Till then, don’t use that outlet.
What to do in case of an electrical emergency?
Electrical emergencies require immediate attention, but that doesn’t mean you should try your hand at fixing them. Call up a reliable emergency electrician in the area to take care of your electrical problems. They have the expertise and required tools and equipment to safely provide the electrical solutions your home requires.
Black Fox Electrical is a leading electrical company that has been serving Wellington and Wairarapa, NZ. Their reliable electricians boast a collective industry experience that spans over two decades. They provide low-cost and effective electrical solutions to commercial and residential clients in the area. They are also known for their trusty 24-hour emergency electrician services.