Signs It Could Be an Electrical Emergency

The electrical emergency we talk about is something that could mean your life is in danger or there is a threat to a fire. Never shrug off these warning signs. Doing so could be tragic.
Smoke. Smoke is a sign that something is burning. If the smoke is very small, locate the source of smoke to see if you can stop it. For larger smoke especially involving electricity, get yourself and your family out and call the fire department.

Sparks. A brief spark can occur when power is suddenly channeled to an appliance, and the appliance quickly draws on the introduced power. This is sometimes normal, like static electricity. A serious spark could mean a short circuit—that too much heat buildup in an outlet has melted the wiring insulation, causing the spark. This could also mean loose wiring or that wires are touching, or mice have gnawed on the wires’ plastic insulation. For serious sparks, you should call an electrician right away.

Scorch, burn, or blackened marks in an outlet. This means a serious spark has occurred and that it was unnoticed. Call an electrician immediately if you see these marks.

Crackling, fizzing, or popping noise. These are sparks going on internally that could burn your sockets and outlets or worse, start a fire behind the walls. Turn off the electricity at the breaker box and call an electrician.

Burning smell. Locate the source of the odor. If it’s from your outlets, cut off the power and contact an electrician immediately.

Heat. Heat under your switches and within your plugs is a serious cause of concern. Hot areas on the walls could mean a fire is starting within your walls and should not be discounted. Cut the power and quickly call an electrician and the fire department if necessary.

Frequently blown fuses. If your fuse blew once, it could mean a faulty household appliance. But frequently blown fuses could be a sign of overloaded circuits or aged, faulty wiring that might need to be ripped out and replaced. This means it’s time to call an electrician.

Tripped circuit breakers. The primary culprit is an overloaded circuit—when there is overcurrent due to connecting electrical load more than the circuit can handle. This could mean serious problems with wiring issues, like wire becoming exposed. Call an electrician because your switchboard could need upgrading.

Water leaking into outlets or power strips. Water and electricity is never a good combination. See how much water has seeped into the contact openings (or the holes where you plug your devices). If it’s just a drop of water or a teaspoonful, turn off the associated circuit breaker and wait for the outlet to dry. Make sure it is completely dry before attempting to turn the power on. In cases of flooding, immediately cut the power from the main circuit breaker and call an electrician. Never touch or attempt to wipe the wet outlets before making sure there is no power—this is especially important in countries where the power is 200V-250V. Another tip: don’t use a vacuum cleaner to dry the outlets. The VC could short circuit and electrocute you.

Worn or frayed cords lying around. When wires are exposed, these could send heat onto combustible surfaces like rugs or curtains, which can start fires. If your cords have minor abraded surfaces, you can wrap these sections in black electrical tape, but if your wires are really worn, replace them, or let an electrician do it for you.

Sleep better at night after our licensed electrician has conducted a full safety inspection in your place. For any electrical concerns that need immediate addressing, an emergency electrician stands ready to help you anytime. At ACE Sydney Electricians, we are committed to make our clients’ safety our number one priority.

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