emergency1Electrical emergencies are nothing to mess around with.

While plumbing issues may leave your house smelling bad and roofing issues may make you want to relocate to a hotel for an evening, an electrical emergency could actually put your life in danger. When you have an electrical emergency, you should never attempt to correct the problem on your own. You need to get professional help immediately, and that is where we come in.

What are the risk factors of an electrical emergency?

While electrical emergencies in Cincinnati (or elsewhere) may seem like they come out of nowhere, the reality is that something has to cause that emergency to happen. Sometimes, the cause is out of your control. For instance, if a power line gets downed, there’s not much you can do to stop it. But, the good news is that, in many cases, learning how to mitigate the risk factors of an electrical emergency can help to prevent it in the first place. Here are a few of electrical hazards to watch out for that could lead to a residential electrical emergency in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky:

  • Overloaded Outlets – When you need an extra outlet, chances are, you’re more likely to invest in a power strip or an outlet extender rather than to call in an electrician to install a new outlet for you. While this is okay for short periods of time, it’s not a permanent solution. The reality is that it can be dangerous. Outlets are designed to handle only so much electricity, and overloading an outlet with too many high-voltage devices can put you at risk for an electrical fire.
  • Outdated Wiring – According to the National Fire Prevention Association, faulty wiring is the number one cause of residential house fires in the United States. Some signs of outdated wiring include frequently tripped breakers or blown fuses; an over-fused electrical panel; flickering or dimming lights; frequently burnt out light bulbs; hot plugs, cords or switch plates; a burning smell; a buzzing sound; a sparking outlet when you unplug a cord; insulation that is broken, cut or cracked; and loose outlets. However, even if you haven’t spotted any of these signs, if you live in an older home, it doesn’t hurt to have a licensed Cincinnati electrician (like us!) come out to ensure that your wiring is up to date and working properly.
  • Ungrounded Outlets – Take a minute to look at your outlets. If they have three slots, it means they are grounded. That third slot in grounded outlets is vitally important from a safety standpoint because it helps to protect against power surges. Power surges can cause electrical fires, so if your outlets are ungrounded, contact an electrician to get them upgraded.
  • Non-GFCI Outlets – GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets are designed to shut off when there is a change in the electrical flow to the circuit. These outlets are especially important to have in areas of your home that could be prone to leaks or flooding, like the basement, laundry room, bathrooms and kitchen, as well as any outlets you have outside. Without GFCI outlets, there’s a higher chance for a wide range of electrical emergencies, including shocks and fires. Give us a call at ElectricMasters so we can make sure your outlets are safe and high-functioning!

  • Unprotected Outlets – When kids are young, they tend to be very curious about the world around them, and that includes the electrical outlets in your home. If your child inserts his or her finger into an outlet, or even the wrong object, it could lead to shocks, burns, or even electrocution. If you have young children at home, or even pets, install safety wall plates on your outlets.
  • Improper Extension Cord Use – Many of us use extension cords every day, but it’s important to use them properly, as improper extension cord use is one of the leading causes of electrical fires. Additionally, every year, there are approximately 4,000 injuries related to extension cords that are treated in emergency rooms. Extension cords are not a permanent solution, and should only be used sparingly. Furthermore, you’ll want to ensure that your extension cords are rated for the desired use; never plug in appliances or other electrical devices that exceed the power rating of an extension cord.
  • Light Bulbs With the Wrong Wattage – When you’re buying light bulbs for lamps and other light fixtures in your home, it’s important to ensure that you pay attention to wattage. If you use higher-wattage bulbs than what your fixtures can accommodate safely, it can lead to overloaded wiring, which can cause an electrical fire.
  • Malfunctioning Appliances – It’s important to make sure that all of your appliances are functioning properly, and if they aren’t, don’t plug them in or try to use them until they are fixed. For instance, if your washing machine always causes the circuit breaker to trip, or if there is smoke coming out of your clothes dryer, shut off the power to the outlets they are plugged into, unplug them and get them repaired right away. You should also make sure that you inspect the power cord of all appliances and electrical devices before plugging them in. If the cord is frayed, burnt, or damaged in any other way, it will need to be replaced. Using faulty or malfunctioning appliances puts you at risk for burns, shocks, or even electrical fires.

What should you do if an electrical emergency occurs?

Electrical emergencies can happen at any time, and they often occur when we least expect them. Electrical emergencies can be incredibly dangerous, and safety should be your number one priority during each emergency that you encounter. If you are in the midst of an electrical emergency, you should NEVER ever attempt to correct the problem on your own. If something goes wrong, it could be fatal.

In the event of an electrical emergency, it is important that you get the help that you need right away. If you wait, you will only be putting yourself in a dangerous, possibly life-threatening situation. Get yourself and anyone around you to a safe place, and then contact the Cincinnati electrician experts at ElectricMasters as soon as possible for the emergency electrical service you need!  If there is an electrical fire or a downed power line, call 911 IMMEDIATELY.

What constitutes an electrical emergency?

An electrical emergency is any electrical event that can put you in danger. However, these kinds of emergencies are also determined on a case-by-case basis. Something that may not constitute an electrical emergency for someone else may constitute an emergency for you. For example, a power outage may not seem like an emergency situation for everyone, but if you rely on electricity for a health reason, you often can’t afford to wait until the power comes back on its own. Whether that emergency is a downed electrical wire, an electrical fire, a sparking appliance or anything else, you need to know where to turn to get it fixed and how to proceed in the safest manner possible.

Common electrical problems and how to deal with them:

  • lightning1Power Outages – In the event of a power outage, your first step should be to determine if your entire neighborhood is out of power or if it is just your home. If the power is out everywhere, inform your electric company. If your home is the only one with a power outage, check your breaker box and reset any breakers that have been tripped. If the circuit trips again immediately after it’s been reset, contact a licensed electrical contractor. While you are waiting for your electrician to arrive, unplug electrical devices to ensure that they stay safe when the power comes back on.
  • Sparking or Smoking Outlets – If your outlets are smoking or sparking, it could quickly lead to an electrical fire, so if you notice them in your home, call the fire department immediately! It’s better to be safe than sorry, and if your outlets are already smoking or sparking, it will escalate much faster than you might think. Get your family and pets out of the house, and make sure that no one goes near the outlet in question. After everyone has been evacuated, you should then locate the main circuit box of your home and check for any signs of smoke or sparks. If sparks or smoke are present, leave immediately and wait for the fire department. If all seems well with your circuit box, turn off the electricity and evacuate.
  • Fallen Power Lines – Unlike regular power cords, power lines aren’t insulated, and they are exceedingly dangerous because they carry high-voltage electricity. If you notice a fallen power line, the very first thing that you should do is call 911. Stay away from the power line, and make sure that no other people approach it. Approaching the downed power line can be fatal, so you should steer clear or the power line itself, as well as anything or anyone that it has come in contact with.
  • Electrical Fire – You never want to throw water on an electrical fire because water will only make an electrical fire hotter and bigger; it also puts you at risk for getting shocked. If you have been trained on how to use a chemical fire extinguisher, and you have one handy, use it. If the fire is small enough, you may be able to put it out with baking soda — also called sodium bicarbonate — which is the substance found in chemical extinguishers. If the fire is large, call 911. Turn off the electricity to the area from the breaker box. If an appliance has caught fire, don’t try to unplug it — just get out of there!

Call ElectricMasters now if you are experiencing a power outage or any other electrical emergency and are in need of an emergency electrician in Cincinnati or northern Kentucky. Are you noticing a burnt wiring smell and have had a loss of power in parts of your house? Do you experience flickering lights throughout your home or business? Have the lights shut off and it’s not because of the local utility company? These could all be attributed to a poorly wired home and can put you in danger of shock and leave your home susceptible to fire.

Know who to call in the event of an emergency.

When you encounter an electrical emergency in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky, you need to turn to the licensed emergency electricians at ElectricMasters. We provide emergency electrical services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we are dedicated to being there when you need us, no matter what your electrical emergency may be.emergency2

Our residential, commercial and industrial electricians are trained to handle your electrical emergency safely and effectively. We have the experience and the expertise to troubleshoot the issue, repair it and reinstate your electricity –all the while communicating with you about what is being done and how to keep your family safe. We understand that electrical emergencies never happen at a time that is convenient for you, which is why we are here for you, day or night.

Stay safe with prompt and reliable emergency electrical services from a company that has been protecting the Tri-State area for over 20 years. Don’t put your safety in the hands of an unlicensed electrician. Contact ElectricMasters now, and our local licensed electrician will be right over to get you back to full power!