There are few things more frustrating than the power going out. No matter where we are, it’s a real pain. However, here in Australia, where the heat can be almost impossible to beat without AC, let’s just say it can be really problematic.
How can we deal with electrical emergencies when they happen, though? Is there some sort of “surefire” way to handle it on our own? What options are available otherwise? Today, we’ll be doing our best to discuss these questions and more, so make sure to stick around.
Before we dive in, though, we’d like to emphasize the importance of bringing in professionals for help with electrical troubles. While it can be tempting to try to do it on our own (and the idea has become popularized by pages like this one: https://www.adelle.com.au/my-favourite-blogs/), it isn’t safe to work with wiring unless we’re knowledgeable and experienced.
A Guide to Electrical Emergencies
If you didn’t know, having an electrical emergency can be quite dangerous. Sparking or malfunctions could even result in fires if we aren’t careful. Therefore, one of the first steps we’ll want to take is to turn off any lights or switches that are still on.
When possible, try to locate the circuit breaker in your home and turn the power off entirely. For anyone who isn’t certain how to do that, you should be able to call your power provider for a rundown since they are usually the ones who install the boxes. At the least, they can usually coach us through the process.
Where do we go from there, though? To a certain extent, it will depend on the severity of the incident. Obviously, if there’s a fire, you’ll want to exit the building as soon as possible and call your local fire department. More detailed emergency plans for disasters like that can be found on this website if you haven’t established a general strategy with your family yet.
Admittedly, this may raise more questions than answers at first. What can we actually consider an electrical emergency versus something else? We keep mentioning fires, so obviously, the ones caused by electrical issues are under that umbrella. Are there other things to worry about, though?
Burned outlets are big ones, and they’re usually not hard to spot (or smell, for that matter). Blackened plastic surrounding a fixture and the scent of that burnt plastic is a big warning sign that we should be wary of. When that’s a consistent issue rather than a one-off sort of deal, you may want to consider bringing in an expert.
Of course, we’ll touch on that more in the next section, so for now, let’s stay focused on what other emergencies might be. Circuit breakers can be a real pain, especially if we aren’t sure how to tell if they’re broken or malfunctioning. Some warning signs are wires that have burned somehow or if power won’t turn off despite a switch being flicked in the breaker box.
When to Call an Electrician
Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to approach an electrical emergency, you’re probably wondering when it’s actually going to be a good idea to call an electrician. We’ve hinted at it a few times already, but for the most part, when in doubt, you’ll want to give one a call. Better to be safe than sorry about something as important (and potentially dangerous) as our electricity not working properly.
Burnt things are probably the largest red flag to keep an eye on. Circuits, outlets, or anything in between – we really don’t want them to end up sparking and causing a full-blown fire. One preventative measure you can take in that sense is to make sure you haven’t got any fabrics or flammable materials next to outlets.
That said, our main focus is on what to do in case of an emergency, as well as the general guidelines for calling in the professionals. Another reason you could call an electrical company is if you notice that fuses are blowing all the time in your home. Alongside fuses blowing, there may be some instances where your circuit breaker is consistently tripping.
An electrician can come in to help figure out what’s causing those types of issues, for one thing. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to bring one in at least annually to help prevent serious emergencies such as fires. Additionally, they can provide advice (and practical solutions) to keeping your building up to code, whether it’s a residential space or a commercial one.
What about non-emergency reasons, though? Well, if you’d like to change the way your outlets are set up or upgrade some of them, it may be time to consider hiring an expert. While most homes here in Australia are relatively new, there are still plenty that have outdated outlets. It’s important to have the three-pin shape and to have the correct wattage for our devices.
When it comes to picking an electrician, that can also be a bit of a pain, depending on where you’re here in Australia, usually there will be some local options, such as if you’re in the Toowoomba area, but it isn’t always a guarantee. If you aren’t really sure where to start as far as finding one goes, the first step might be to do a quick online search.
Of course, you can also ask the people in your neighborhood if they have any electrician suggestions, along with reading some online reviews. Hopefully, that can provide enough perspective to let us be informed customers. These types of jobs aren’t always going to be cheap when we hire an expert, so knowing that the work will be quality is a big deal.
Above all, we really can’t stress enough that you shouldn’t try to handle dangerous electrical equipment on your own. The risk of injury is significant, and you could also end up damaging precisely what you were trying to fix. This type of issue is best handled by professional electricians.