Although electrical appliances have become part and parcel of normal life, we are never prepared for accidents that have been a mainstay phenomenon for so long. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFA) there was a 15% increase in electrical fatalities between the years 2015 and 2016 which resulted in around 153 fatalities.
The number of electrical devices will only continue to increase, these range from heavy appliances like refrigerators to tinier gadgets like mobile phone chargers. All of these places a burden on the electrical wiring of your house, and if one electrical outlet is drawing in more current that it is manufactured to handle, it can result in deadly accidents.
While it’s true that regular maintenance of our home’s electrical systems minimizes the risk of emergencies, accidents can still catch us off guard. A faulty wire finally giving in to the high demands of an electrical appliance could result in an electrical fire that could put your entire family at risk. We have prepared a brief list of best practices you should adopt to take care of basic electrical emergency procedures to cope with an emergency situation until professional help arrives.
Wires are all around the house, and sometimes they tend to get tangled up amongst each other. A phenomenon which is called a ‘short’ in the circuit, can result in electrical fires. It is vital for your home to establish properly emergency response procedures to ensure the safety of all your family members. Among the measures you should adopt include:
- Cutting off the power: This is the most obvious action you can take in order to deal with electrical fires, which is to cut the root of the entire problem. You should approach your home’s breaker box and then flip the switch to cut off the power supply. This will ensure that the source of electrical fire will no longer have any energy to feed off of.
- Some homeowners try to plug and unplug their faulty electrical appliances in hopes of resetting problems. But they still continue to pose a risk if the wires have been damaged or the appliance’s components overheated. It is recommended to discontinue the use of the electrical appliance and have it checked with a professional electrician in Charleston, SC.
- Make use of fire extinguishers: Your first line of defense in the event of a fire is to combat it with fire extinguishers. It is highly recommended to install smoke detectors around critically important areas of the house such as the kitchen and basement so you are alerted once the fire starts.
In The Event of an Electrocution
Every time an electric current flows in a circuit, energy is transferred from the source to areas that need it. Electricity will always try to follow the path of least resistance, and sometimes human beings actually manage to serve as that ‘path’. When that happens, the majority of the electricity flows through them, a phenomenon in which the humans effectively serve as ‘ground’ between the electricity and its path, completing an alternative circuit. The exchange of energy can damage the tissues, bone ligaments and important organs of the human body.
This is why you should always have a plan in case of an electrical shock. These include:
- Avoiding contact with it: If someone has come in contact with electricity and is in the process of getting ‘shocked’ by it, do not touch this person at all because you will only serve as yet another pathway for the electricity to flow through. It is therefore important to immediately call for backup and try to disconnect the source of electricity.
- Cover electrical outlets: If you have small children around, it is important to keep them away from electrical outlets, especially those which are low lying. Educate your child about the dangers of electricity as soon as they are able to understand. It is recommended to install a safety switch in your home which will shut off the circuit as soon as it realizes that there is a problem. It could be the difference between life and death.
In the Event of a Power Outage
Power failures and blackouts frequently occur for several reasons. It could be because of variables that are not in your control such as an energy shortage, natural disaster. And it could be due to variables that are in your control, such as faulty wiring around the house, poorly configured electrical appliances and shorting. You can take a few steps to protect your family in the event of a power failure:
- Check the power beaker: For the vast majority of the cases, the culprit is a tripped beaker which switched due to a short circuit. They are easy to fix yourself but it is still better to enlist the help of a professional electrician in Charleston, SC.
- An emergency power outage kit: During events that aren’t under your control such as storms – which almost always bring about power outages – it is important to keep a power outage emergency kit nearby. It should provide your family with lighting, cooking and heating options. It is also recommended to keep a mobile phone charger nearby to keep your phone charged at all times, so as not to cut your communication lines.
- Install surge protectors: When power returns to your house, it provides a surge of energy to your electronic items which could damage them or decrease their longevity. For this reason, it is recommended to disconnect all electrical appliances in the event of a power outage and install a surge protector to prevent an unexpected jolt of electricity from frying out your electrical components.
Regular Maintenance is Key to Safety
It goes without saying that you’re never too prepared against accidents related to electricity. But they can be minimized and outright prevented if detected early on. Identifying and troubleshooting electrical problems is the job of a professional electrician in Charleston, SC and should not be carried out by non-licensed individuals, instead, consult Mister Sparky® of Charleston, a renowned name in South California who are guaranteed to solve all your electricity problems for an economical price. Head over to our website to get a quote today!