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What Should You Do In An Electrical Emergency?

Electrical emergencies are something everyone should be prepared for. There’s many scenarios that may happen and it can range from a power outage to more dangerous situations like exposed wires or electrical fires.

When faced with an electrical emergency, knowing the proper actions to take can prevent harm to yourself and others, as well as minimise property damage. Electrical emergencies can range. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to handle such emergencies safely and effectively in Australian English:

1. Cut off the power source

If safe to do so, shut off the power to the affected area by switching off the circuit breaker. You can also try pulling out the fuse from the fuse box. If the situation involves power lines or the electrical metre, do not attempt to intervene—call the nearest emergency electrician in your area.

Stay calm and quickly determine the nature of the electrical emergency. Is it an appliance malfunction, a power outage, a sparking outlet, or something else? Did someone get an electric shock? Are there any risks of fire? Your response will vary depending on the issue. 

2. Keep your distance

If you suspect that someone suffered from an electric shock, avoid touching the body as you can get injured as well. Their injuries can range from burns to cardiac arrest. Before you perform any first aid, make sure it’s safe by separating the person from electrical items using non-conducive items. 

3. Leave the area

Malfunction in circuits can cause fire. If you start to smell that something is burning, leave the premises immediately. Call emergency services once everyone is safely outside.

4. Call an electrician

For any electrical issue beyond a simple power outage, it's essential to call licensed electricians or your utility provider. For downed power lines or situations you believe might be dangerous, call 000 or your local emergency services immediately.

5. Avoid water

Electricity and water are a dangerous combination. Do not attempt to use water on an electrical fire. If there's flooding, do not enter the area until a professional has confirmed it's safe to do so.

6. Use fire extinguishers

For small electrical fires, you can use a Class C fire extinguisher. Never use water to extinguish an electrical fire. If the power is off, use a Class A extinguisher, which is water-based. Pull the pin, aim the horn at the fire's base, and squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent. Make sure to completely put out the fire. 

7. Prevent future emergencies

Once the immediate danger is over, take steps to prevent future incidents. This might involve having an electrician inspect your wiring, replacing faulty appliances, or updating your home’s electrical system to meet current safety standards. It’s ideal to get at least twice a year of electrician maintenance.

In conlusion

When faced in an electrical emergency, try to turn off the power at the main switchboard and move away the person in contact using a non-conductive item. Make sure to call for an emergency service right away. 

Understanding what to do in an electrical emergency can save lives and prevent significant property damage. Regular maintenance and inspection of your home’s electrical system, along with a solid understanding of safety procedures, can help mitigate these risks. Always err on the side of caution and consult with professionals to address and rectify any electrical issues. 

Remember, electrical safety is paramount—never attempt repairs or interventions unless you are qualified to do so. Stay safe and prepared by following these guidelines. Remember this guide is intended for informational purposes only. In all cases of electrical emergencies, prioritise safety and seek assistance from professionals. 

Have an electrical emergency? Give us a call at 02 9072 0797.

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