Common Household Electrical Emergencies & How To Respond To Them

3 August 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Electrical emergencies can strike at any moment, causing panic and disruption to your daily life. These situations are not only inconvenient but also potentially dangerous, and it's crucial to prioritise safety and seek professional assistance immediately. If you'd like to know more about some common electrical emergencies that homeowners may encounter—and learn when it's time to call in the professionals—read on.

Power cuts that affect your whole home

A sudden power cut can leave you in the dark and without essential utilities. While minor power interruptions can be due to power grid issues and other external factors, severe and prolonged outages may be an indicator of a more significant electrical problem within your property. In such cases, a professional electrician will be able to diagnose the issue and restore power safely. Attempting DIY repairs during a power cut can lead to serious injuries or cause further damage to your electrical system. Before calling in the professionals, check for updates from your energy provider to find out if the problem is yours or theirs.

Electrical sparks, flashes or burning smells

If you can smell burning or see sparks and flashes around any of your electrical outlets or switches, this is a clear indication of a serious issue. Sparks and flashes can be caused by frayed wires, overloaded circuits, or faulty electrical connections, and ignoring them can lead to electrical fires or electrical shock hazards. A burning smell can be caused by a spark having landed on some plastic, by a fraying wire, or by a very serious fire hazard. In all cases, it's crucial to switch off the power immediately and contact an emergency electrician to assess the problem and perform the necessary repairs. If something like this happens, never approach the unit yourself: this is an occasion when an emergency electrician should be called in no matter the time of day or night.

Circuit overload, surges and switch tripping

Circuit overloads occur when you have too many electrical devices drawing power from a single circuit simultaneously, or when your home's electrical circuits register a sudden surge. This situation can lead to circuit breakers frequently tripping or fuses blowing. It's usually safe to reset the breaker yourself, and in some cases--such as in homes where the breaker automatically flips any time a lightbulb dies--this is the right way to fix the problem. Repeated and unexplained overloads or surges, however, indicate an underlying issue that requires professional attention. A qualified electrician can identify the cause of the overload, redistribute the electrical load, and prevent potential fire hazards.

If you are in need of emergency electric work, contact a professional.