How people define an electrical emergency differs. For some, it can mean a local power outage. Others do not consider it an electrical emergency unless it involves a potential electrical fire. The first step in handling an electrical emergency is learning how to recognize one or a situation that has the potential to become an emergency. Let’s explore how to recognize a potential electrical emergency and what to do in each case.
1. Burning Smells From an Outlet
If you detect an odor that smells like something burning, you should not ignore it, even if it is only slight. An impending electrical fire can smell like ozone, a smell like that of fish, or burning plastic. The first thing you should do is to unplug every device connected to an outlet in the house. You should call an electrician right away and not plug anything in to an outlet until an electrician informs you that it is now safe.
2. Power Outage
In many cases, you can do nothing about a power outage. When you experience one, you should take steps to determine if it is area-wide or just affects your home. If your neighbors have power and you do not, then it could be a serious electrical emergency. You can contact your service provider to see if any known problems have been reported in your area, and if they are not, you should call an emergency electrician to take a look. It could mean that you have a potential fire hazard.
3. Noises From the Breaker Box
If your breaker box makes a humming noise, buzzing sound, or crackles, it is a serious problem that needs attention immediately. This can mean that your breakers have failed to trip, and this creates an electrical shock and fire hazard. Shut off any appliances or electrical devices that are turned on, and do not turn anything else back on until an emergency electrician has been called.
4. Flickering Lights
If a light flickers and then goes out, you should first replace the bulb to see if that fixes the problem. After changing the bulb, if it continues to flicker, it could mean that you have developed a short in the wiring of the lighting itself or the wiring of your home. Either way, you should turn off the light and call an electrician. If all the lights in your home are flickering at once, it is a bigger problem, and you should call an emergency electrician right away.
Legacy Electric serves the electrical needs of residents and businesses in the San Angelo and Concho Valley, TX area. We can help you upgrade your lighting, install EV chargers, or install whole-house generators. Our team is licensed and offers a full range of electrical services, and our founder is a third-generation electrician. If you need an electrician, contact us. We’ll be happy to help!