If we were to ask you, “Do you know what to do in an electrical emergency?’ would you truly be able to answer yes?
Unfortunately, most people couldn’t. Many people don’t know where to start, and naively fall into the mentality that “it won’t happen to us”.
This week, our electricians in Brighton help you understand the most common types of electrical emergencies as well as the life-saving steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.
How do you identify an electrical fire?
When you think of the words ‘electrical fire’, your mind likely springs to a burning power socket or exploding appliance; essentially, anything visible.
Don’t forget, though, that many electrical fires can start hidden from plain sight, behind walls via faulty or damaged wiring (more on this below!)
As such, smell is the key way to detect a fire before it leaves your internal circuits and wall cavities.
If you smell smoke in your home – and can’t attribute it to burning toast or any other human activity – immediately assess your home appliances in every room.
If the smell has a source, like a hair appliance, turn it off at the switch.
Early warning signs that indicate something is not quite right include:
- Hot outlets
- Sparking power sockets
- Buzzing or humming sounds
These signs might be the earliest stages leading towards an electrical fire – so don’t dismiss them as minor or inconsequential; they could end up saving your life.
What should you do in the event of an electrical fire?
If you cannot find an appliance as the source, turn off your power at your switchboard.
Then, step outside and see if there are any hazards surrounding you, such as from the street or from a neighbouring property. If you can’t identify an external source, don’t worry. While the issue might be within your home, by this point, you’ve already switched off your switchboard and evacuated your home. Now, it’s time to call an emergency electrician.
If you or anyone else is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000).
How do electrical fires start in walls?
Electrical fires often start because of deteriorated wiring, circuits, and other ‘behind-the-scenes’ faults.
These issues stem from old electrical systems or systems that haven’t been assessed in a number of years.
When there is a malfunction in your electrical circuits, extreme amperage can cause excessive heat which can cause a fire.
Another reason electrical fires start is because of outdated switchboards or circuit breakers which don’t act on excessive voltage fast enough which can cause a blown fuse. If you suspect a blown fuse, call our emergency electricians now.
Outside of wall fires, a common cause of home electrical fires is leaving appliances turned on for long periods of time or from exposing electrical appliances to water.
What do I do when there’s a fallen powerline near me?
Power lines may fall because of strong weather or another harsh incident.
Fallen power lines can be extremely dangerous and even fatal, and should never be touched. They are the responsibility of your power company, so call them as soon as possible, and, again, if anyone else is harmed or in danger, also call Triple Zero.
What do I do when I’m experiencing a blackout?
When you are experiencing a blackout, the first thing you need to do is check if your street lights or your neighbours’ lights are off too. If YES – then you’re experiencing an area-wide blackout, and restoring power is the responsibility of your power company.
However in cases where you’re the only one on the block without power, call our on-time local service electricians any time of the day or night for immediate support and advice.
Your safety switches have then most likely tripped the power to avoid further damage.
When this happens, access your switchboard and turn all its switches off. Then turn on your main safety switch which powers your home.
Your electricity will still be off at this point.
You then should turn on each circuit one by one and watch as your corresponding lights turn on.
Eventually, one switch won’t activate a light or circuit.
This would be the switch that has caused the black out. Turn on your electricity again as normal except for the faulty switch you’ve just discovered.
Now that you’ve diagnosed the source of your issue, contact an emergency electrician to mend it and replace the breaker or circuit.
Who should you contact when an electrical emergency occurs?
Briggs Electrical, that’s who!
As we always like to say, prevention is better than cure. However in many cases, it’s simply impossible to predict when an electrical emergency will occur. In those instances, you can always rely on Briggs!
Briggs Electrical and Data Solutions are electricians in Melbourne’s South East who can repair and upgrade your circuits, fuses, switchboard, and circuit breakers, to ensure your living and working environments are as safe and functional as possible.
Searching for an electrician near you? We operate throughout Melbourne and are available to you 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year.
We also offer a range of domestic and commercial electrical services and upgrades, including:
- Home theatre installation
- Commercial electrical services
- CCTV installation
- Antenna installation
- And so much more – if it’s got a wire, we can help!