Electricity makes our lives easier but there are times when we can take its power and potential for fire-related hazards for granted. Electrical malfunctions are the leading cause of home fires year after year. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, between 2014 and 2016, electrical fires accounted for 6.3% of all residential fires, with approximately 24,000 fires being reported each year. While most electrical issues are minor it’s important to realize that serious electrical issues can be deadly. So, it’s good to know when you need to call for emergency electrical help.
Common Issues Requiring an Emergency Electrical Response
1. Power outage. You will likely experience a power outage when there is a storm outside or trouble with a local transformer. It can even occur when a neighbor overloads the electrical system in their home and causes the entire block to be without power. If there isn’t a storm and your neighbors still have power, you have a serious problem. You may have weak or frayed wires that can become a serious problem that needs immediate attention.
2. Fallen power lines. When a storm is rather harsh you may see downed power lines. Those lines are what is supplying your home with power from the electrical grid. The danger with these wires is that they carry very high levels of current that can cause fire, shock, and death. Never go near fallen power lines. Call your electrical provider first, then call county emergency services and then an emergency electrician.
3. Burnt electrical outlet. You may have a serious problem if you notice brown stains around your outlets. This is an indication that the outlet is overloaded and can catch fire. Do not touch the outlet or plug anything into it. You should also check all the outlets in your home for the same sign of an overloaded outlet. For safety reasons you will need to call an electrician to correct the problem.
4. Loud breaker box. You want your breaker box to be silent. If it hums, buzzes, or crackles it’s an indication that the protective feature that will make it trip if it gets overloaded isn’t working properly. When a breaker box fails to trip it becomes a shock and fire hazard. Do not use any appliances that are currently turned on or any other appliances for that matter and call an electrician.
5. Burning electrical smells. You also want your electrical system to be odor free. If it gives off a burning smell, you have a problem that has gone past the point of repair. You should never have an electrical system that smells like it’s on fire. You must call an emergency electrician right away.
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Deaths related to electricity cause thousands of deaths every year. Knowing the early warning signs that there’s a problem can keep you and your family safe. Don’t hesitate to call the professionals at Peterkin Electric when you suspect there might be a problem with the electricity in your home. Our experts will ensure your family gets through any electrical emergency!