Each year, home electrical emergencies cause an estimated 51,000 fires. This causes more than 1,400 injures, 500 deaths, and $1.3 billion in property damage.
Your home’s electrical system distributes power to your lights and appliances. Sometimes, there will be an issue with the system that causes an emergency that requires immediate assistance.
Keep reading for four types of electrical emergencies that post a serious safety risk to you and your family.
1. Downed Power Lines
Downed power lines are typical after a severe storm. Your home’s electrical system can become disconnected from the power grid if power lines fail due to harsh weather or downed trees.
Because power lines carry a high level of electrical current, you should never attempt to move one on your own. If you have lost power due to a storm or fallen line, others in your area likely have, too. The best thing you can do is call your power company to ask them to provide an update.
2. Power Outage
There are several reasons your power may go out aside from fallen trees or lines. It’s possible that you or someone close to you has overloaded the power system. There’s also a chance that a nearby transformer is malfunctioning.
If you have frayed wiring in your home’s electrical system, this could cause an outage. Frayed wires pose a significant fire hazard and should be a major cause of concern.
When you lose power, first call your electrical provider and ask if they have an answer. If they aren’t aware of an issue and don’t know what’s going on, you should call a professional immediately to check out your home.
In severe cases, electrical malfunctions can cause electric shock hazards. It’s vital to regularly inspect and repair your home’s power system to stay safe.
3. Humming or Buzzing Breaker Box
Your home’s breaker box shouldn’t make much noise. A fully functional circuit breaker will shut itself off if something seems wrong.
If the circuit is overloaded, or a black wire connects with another wire, the mechanism will turn off power to the circuit. However, the wire will not trip if the circuit breaker mechanism isn’t functioning properly. This leaves your home vulnerable to electrical failure and other severe hazards.
If you notice a loud buzzing or humming noise coming from your breaker box, have it inspected as soon as you can. The sound could mean the mechanism is failing to trip.
4. Burnt Electrical Outlet
If you overload a single electrical outlet, you can put too much pressure on it, causing it to begin to burn. The telltale sign of an overloaded outlet is a brown or black mark around it.
If you see these marks, it’s imperative that you call your electrician as soon as possible and ask about their electrical emergency services — these services could save your life. Avoid touching the outlet until it is inspected, as it could be very hot.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Electrical Emergencies?
If you notice any of these electrical emergencies occurring in your home, reach out to your local power company or emergency electrician for help. Ignoring these signs or attempting to correct an issue on your own could cause an injury, fire, or make electrical issues worse.
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