Power outages are not an unusual experience in the Midwest; after all, we do have some exciting weather events from time to time. Power failure is only one of the emergencies that can occur when it comes to electricity. Damaged or faulty wiring, falling tree limbs breaking a live electrical wire, and sparking electrical plugs are just a few of the emergencies that require a professional, licensed electrician.
What to Do When the Lights Go Out
I’m sure that all of you know how to change a light bulb, despite the multitude of jokes that exist on that topic. But what if it isn’t just a blown light bulb? What do you need to do if you lose power to your home or business?
- Turn off all major appliances and lights. This will prevent a surge or circuit overload when power is restored.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed to prevent food spoilage. .
- If your neighbor has lights but you don’t, reset your home circuit breakers. If your neighbor’s home is also dark, there is probably an area wide power failure.
Emergencies happen when you least expect them to. That follows true even with your electricity. Being prepared is your best defense when it comes to losing power. In the Midwest, snowstorms and ice storms are pretty typical in the winter months, and with them come broken tree limbs and downed power lines. Unfortunately, an electrician is not of great benefit if the entire power grid is down. Planning ahead can have you calmly weathering a power outage.
Make sure you have on Hand
- A working flashlight and spare batteries.
- Battery Powered Radio and spare batteries
- Charged Mobile Phone
- Fresh Water (if your water pump relies on electricity)
- An alternative cooking source that does not require electricity
- A current list of emergency contacts.
Consider a Power Backup System
If being without power is not an option for your home or business, consider having a power backup generator installed. A backup generator can be hard-wired into your electrical system. Within seconds of a power loss it will engage automatically. If your business is dependent on a steady power supply or if you have health issues that require electrical machinery to run without fail, a standby generator is recommended.
Damaged or Faulty Wiring
If you have had work done in your home by an unlicensed person, you may have wiring that does not meet building codes. Faulty wiring is a fire hazard. Have you ever felt a slight shock or vibration or heard a buzz when you turn on a light or an appliance? These are all clues that you need to have the wiring in your home checked by a qualified electrician. Changes in temperature and old age can lead to frayed wires or cracks in wiring insulation. If you’ve ever smelled an overheated transformer, the smell is distinctive. Unfortunately, faulty electrical wiring, and the resultant potential electrical fire, is odorless and invisible. You need to be vigilant of subtle changes in the way your appliances behave and call an electrician for a home electrical evaluation before you need emergency electrical repair.
Falling Tree Limbs, Live Electrical Wires
That tree that you love in your front yard can create an electrical emergency if a limb breaks during the next storm and brings down the electrical wire that runs under it. Utility companies try to be diligent in trimming tree limbs above power lines but if you notice a potential problem area, notify your electric company. If you see a downed electric line, stay back from the area and maintain at least 100 feet of space from the live wire. Call your power company immediately. If you are in a vehicle that comes in contact with an electric line, stay in the vehicle and wait for assistance. If you must leave the vehicle, jump clear with both feet together, insuring that you do not come in contact with the ground and the vehicle at the same time. Maintain your feet together position and shuffle away while maintaining contact with the ground.
Sparking Electrical Outlets
Your electrical outlet should not spark, or be hot to the touch. If you experience either of these, or if you notice charring around the outlet, stop using the outlet and call for an electrician.
For assistance with any home emergency electrical repair, or for assistance in electrical preparedness, call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric Service or schedule an appointment through our webpage. We proudly serve Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, and the surrounding areas.