Did you know that the United States generated nearly 4 trillion kWh of electricity in 2017 alone?
As of 2016, there were more than 20,000 electricity generators used to feed America's increasing energy needs.
With that being said, there’s no wonder why so many households require an emergency electrician to solve electrical problems.
Electricians are safety professionals who study extensively to practice their job correctly. You always need an electrician’s number in your phone book, just in case.
But when is the best moment to call an electrician?
And what to do in case of electrical emergencies?
That’s what you’re going to find out in this article, so stay tuned!
10 Cases When You Need An Emergency Electrician
A residential electrician is ready to help you with electrical maintenance as well as electrical emergencies. It's not hard to choose a good reputable electrician, you just have to pay attention to a few aspects.
Hopefully, you never encounter an emergency situation, but just to be safe, here are a few moments when you should call an electrician.
1. When Fuses Blow Very Often
It is normal for fuses to blow from time to time, but if this happens too often. There might be a serious problem in the electrical system.
This usually occurs because the system draws more electricity than the fuses can handle. You can change the fuse by yourself, but it's best to call an electrician to inspect the electrical panel for bigger problems.
2. When Switches Are Warm to the Touch
When switches or electrical appliances feel warm to the touch for no apparent reason, there might be an electrical problem.
For example, if you didn’t use your microwave, but it’s warm when you put your hand on it, call an emergency electrician immediately.
Similarly, when light switches feel warm to the touch, this is a surefire sign of electrical fault.
3. When Lights Are Flickering
It is not normal for lights to flicker. This can happen at random or when you turn on an electric appliance which draws a lot of power such as a vacuum cleaner or your fridge.
This happens because there is a high electrical demand put on the power outlet. For a brief moment, the light bulbs in your house receive less electricity and that’s why they flicker.
An electrician can help by installing additional power outlets and putting large appliances on their own circuits.
4. When Power Outlets Are Overloaded
If a power point is giving electricity to too many appliances at the same time, this is a sign that you need to install more power outlets.
Overloaded power points can cause huge stress on your electrical system. At some point in the future, this can cause electrical problems which are expensive to repair.
5. Having Too Many Extension Cords
It’s great to use extension cords, but if you use too many, chances are that you have too few power outlets in your house.
An emergency electrician can fix this problem by adding several more power points. Best of all, you can tell the electrician to install them where you need them the most such as near the bed, next to your office, etc.
6. Light Bulbs Deteriorate Frequently
Similar to fuses which blow too often, your light bulbs can also get burned rapidly if there’s an electrical problem in your system.
Instead of simply changing the light bulb and hoping for the best, you should call an electrician to inspect your electrical system.
7. You Get a Huge Electrical Bill
If you haven’t installed many new appliances lately (no new fridges, freezers, computers, etc), but your electrical bill is absurdly large, chances are that there is a problem in your electrical system.
You should call an electrician to inspect the problem and see what circuits are inefficient. This type of problem doesn’t go away on its own.
8. Switches Give Mild Shocks
Do you feel a small electrical shock when you touch an appliance?
This is a surefire sign of an electrical problem. One that you must address immediately because these appliances are dangerous to use.
It might happen that residual current gets stored in the appliance. When you touch it, some of that electricity is transferred to you.
Call an electrician immediately to inspect the problem and to protect your life.
9. Your Power Outlets Don’t Accept 3-Prong Plugs
A 3-prong plug is a grounded unit. It provides additional safety in the case of an electric shock.
Many houses, especially old ones, have power outlets which accept only 2-prong plugs. You should call a residential electrician to remove the old power outlets and replace them with safer ones.
10. You Haven’t Checked The Electrical System In A Long Time
You never know the state of the electrical system until you check it.
Especially if you haven’t done this in a long while, now it’s the perfect time to do it and avoid more expensive electrical problems.
In some cases, just upgrading the electrical panel can prevent serious damages to your appliances.
What to Do in Case Of Electrical Emergency
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to electricity!
You never know when you might run into an electrical problem and it’s great to know what you have to do in case of an emergency.
Use these tips to ensure your safety:
1. Keep An Electrician’s Phone Number Handy
In the case of a power outage, you don’t want to be forced to look for an electrician’s number in a phone book with a flashlight in your hand.
Instead, program an electrician's phone number in your mobile phone. Share it with your family members too. If you happen to be in Tennessee, Southern Kentucky or Northern Alabama, we encourage you to program Hiller's number, as we are always available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our toll-free number is 844-694-4553 or you can find a local telephone number of an electrician near you here.
2. Have A Fire Extinguisher In Your House
Electrical fires can appear as a result of faulty electrical systems, tangled wires and so on.
Having a fire extinguisher handy can help you minimize the danger quickly. Make sure you know how to use it and keep it up to date.
Fire extinguishers come in various sizes and shapes. The best ones for extinguishing electrical fires are:
- Carbon dioxide extinguishers
- Ammonium phosphate extinguishers
- Sodium and potassium bicarbonate extinguishers
Make sure that you read the instructions manual and instruct your family members on how to use one, if possible.
3. Don’t Touch An Electrocuted Person
Electrical shocks are very dangerous.
They can happen if a person touches a faulty electrical appliance such as a toaster, microwave oven or fridge.
In the case of electrical shock, don’t touch the person because you can get electrocuted too.
Instead, cut off the main power supply from the power switch board. Safely position the injured person on the ground and call an ambulance.
Make sure that the injured person is standing still as movements can worsen his/her situation.
4. Don’t Touch Fallen Power Lines
can be the result of a powerful storm.
They might also be caused by tree branches falling on them.
Remember that there is still electrical current passing through these lines. Under no circumstance should you touch them or go near them. Instruct others to do the same.
If someone got injured, call an ambulance and lay the person on the ground until the paramedics arrive.
Call the local electrical company and inform them about the fallen power lines.
5. Stop The Electrical Supply If Appliances Release Smoke
Faulty electrical equipment can release smoke sometimes.
This might happen because plastic components get burned. You might encounter this situation with light switches, toasters, microwave ovens, etc.
If you sense smoke, don’t touch the appliance. You should immediately stop the electrical supply from the main switchboard.
Once you have done that, safely unplug the appliance from the power outlet.
Restore power from the switchboard and call an electrician immediately. The power outlet which caused the electrical problem needs to be inspected immediately.
6. Don’t Touch Cables Which Caught Fire
Tangled wires might cause electrical fires, especially if the electrical system is faulty or outdated.
If you sense a burning smell in your house emanating from around a power outlet, it might be caused by tangled wires.
Cut off the power supply immediately from the switchboard. Make sure that neither you or your family members touch the wires. Call an electrician to inspect the damages and replace the cables.
7. Unplug Appliances In Case Of Power Outage
Power outages might happen from time to time.
They usually occur during storms or, if you believe in the sci-fi lore, when a UFO passes by.
It’s important to remain calm, especially if the power goes out in your entire neighborhood. Electrical companies are usually aware of this problem and they work hard to fix it as soon as possible.
While you wait, you should use a flashlight to find your way around the house. Make sure that you unplug appliances from the power socket to avoid damage when the power comes back.
How To Prevent Electrical Problems
You can do a lot of things to prevent or at least minimize electrical emergencies and damages to your appliances.
1. Use Power Surge Protector
A power surge protector is a special type of power outlet strip.
It is specially designed to prevent damages to your appliances in the case of an electrical spike.
During a thunderstorm or when the power comes back on after a blackout, the electrical circuits might receive too much electricity for a brief moment.
If you have appliances plugged in, they might be fried by this high electrical spike.
A power surge protector absorbs the excessive amount of current and gets fried itself, protecting expensive appliances and hardware.
At Hiller, we offer whole home power surge protection for a very affordable amount.
2. Have Your Hands Dry When Handling Electric Equipment
This should be a no-brainer since electricity and water don’t mix.
If you want to change a light bulb or a blown fuse, always do that with dry hands.
If you spill water on cords, don’t touch them. Cut off the power supply and then attempt to dry the cords.
Try not to use appliances in the bathroom, even if you have a power outlet installed there. The bathroom is always a humid environment which might facilitate electrical problems or even electrocution.
3. Keep Wires Away From Trafficked Areas
This piece of advice is valid in households as well as workplaces.
Electrical cords should be hidden from plain sight, especially from these places where a lot of people walk often.
There is a high chance that someone might trip on the cord and get injured. If people step on the cord, this can damage its protective layer in the long-run. This can result in an electrical fire. Keep cords organized and as close to walls as possible.
4. Don’t Hide Cords Under Rugs
Contrary to the popular belief, you should never place a rug or a mat over an electrical cord.
Keep in mind that if the cables get hot, they might cause a fire since rugs are flammable materials.
In a similar fashion, make sure that you never keep an iron or hair dryer close to curtains or mats as they might cause a fire.
5. Keep The Fridge On Its Separate Power Outlet
Appliances which use a lot of power should be kept on their dedicated power point.
For example, the fridge requires a lot of electricity to run. If you keep it on the same power outlet with multiple other appliances, the circuit board becomes overloaded. This can cause electrical faults in the long run.
Similarly, the air conditioning system is another "hungry" appliance. It should have a dedicated power outlet.
When using the vacuum cleaner, make sure that you follow this rule too as this appliance requires a lot of energy to run. So does your freezer.
Expand Your Knowledge About Electricians
Handling electricity is not an easy job and that’s why you should always call an emergency electrician to solve electrical problems.
Electricians train for years and know how to fix these problems safely and quickly.
Learn more about why it's best to call an electrician instead of going the DIY route from our articles!
We highly recommend that before you attempt to perform any electrical repairs on your own, please consult an electrician near you. Thanks for reading!