Stay Prepared With An Electrical Emergency Check List

Posted: June 12, 2020
Category: Home , Tips , Safety/Emergency

If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that you can never be too safe, and you can never be too prepared for any sort of emergency. Think back to last December. Did you ever imagine that by March you’d have to stock up on a weeks’ worth of extra food, shop for fashionable facemasks, and wash your hands with the frequency of someone with an acute case of obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Electrical emergencies are an unfortunate reality of modern life. And like all emergencies, their timing can never be predicted. That’s why it is of hyper importance to have a plan in place and be prepared for any sort of emergency that you might encounter within the four walls of your home.

Before we go into our checklist for how to safely respond to the three most common types of household electrical emergencies, we’re going to give you a quick (forgive the term) “idiot’s list” of things that you should know, have, and do when dealing with electricity.

THREE CARDINAL RULES



  1. KNOW YOUR BREAKER BOX
    Breaker boxes are unsightly. So, most people mask them behind a picture on their wall. But you’d be surprised how many people forget which picture hides the breaker box. Also, open your breaker box and make sure that your breakers are clearly labeled so you know which switches control power to the areas of your home.

  2. KEEP AN ABC FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANDY
    There are four types of fire extinguishers. Class A puts out fires on wood and paper. Class B extinguishers are for flammable liquids. Class C extinguishers are for electrical fires, Class D are for metal fires. Does this mean you need all four types in your home? No. Fortunately, you can buy an ABC extinguisher that will safely take care of most emergencies that may happen in your home. And unless you have combustible metals like magnesium, lithium and titanium in your home, you probably won’t need to own a Class D extinguisher.

  3. WEAR SHOES WITH RUBBER SOLES
    You may not have a pair of industrial grade rubber electrician’s gloves handy, but you probably have a pair of sneakers around. Put them on before dealing with any sort of electrical emergency (or even minor repair). Why? Because, when electricity passes through our bodies to the ground, an electrical circuit is completed. Having an insulator like rubber makes the circuit open by not allowing the current to pass through.


CHECK LIST FOR THREE TYPES OF ELECTRICAL EMERGENCIES


Most cases of electrical problems are usually minor. But left un-checked, they can potentially cause property damage (or worse), injuries and fatalities. That’s why it’s vital to have a plan in place for each type of emergency that you hopefully won’t have to encounter.

TYPE ONE: THE POWER OUTAGE


This is the most common type of emergency that always happens at the worst time. Remember that black out last summer in Manhattan? In a power outage, the lights go out. But did you know that when the lights come back on, your major appliances are most at risk? A surge from suddenly restored power can destroy computers, washing machines, tv’s and air conditioners? If you don’t have surge protectors for your beloved electronics, buy them now. Your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover everything.

What to Do:

  • Go to Your Breaker Box to see if a circuit breaker has been tripped. This could be caused by having too many appliances running on the same outlet at the same time. If this is the case, re-distribute the appliances. And flip the breaker back on. If the problem persists, call a licensed electrician. You may need a new circuit breaker installed.

  • Check for Faulty Wiring – If you sense the problem stems from bad wiring. Call an emergency electrician immediately.

  • Go on Twitter to see if your utility company is reporting an outage in your area.

  • Protect Your Stuff – Turn off or unplug all major appliances and electronics.

  • Reset Safely – When the power comes back on. Give it a few minutes before resetting your breakers and plugging in your appliances.


TYPE TWO: ELECTRICAL SHOCKS


According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (EFSI), a staggering amount of electrically-related injuries and fatalities happen every year. This commonly occurs because of damaged cords or faulty outlets. Any case of even mild electrocution will be a scary occurrence, it’s important to have a plan.

What to Do:

  • Turn off the power supply.

  • Don’t touch the person who has received the shock.

  • Call 911 and follow instructions from the operator while you’re waiting for responders to get to you.


TYPE THREE: ELECTRICAL FIRES


EFSI reported that home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year totaling $1.3 billion in property damage. These fires are largely caused by overloading and bad wiring. But even the heat from an incandescent lightbulb can cause a fire if it comes in contact with a flammable object. Fires can move fast. It’s important to maintain a cool head and move just as fast to stop or mitigate the problem.

What to Do:

  • Turn off the power supply.

  • Get your Class C or ABC fire extinguisher.

  • Call 911 and have the fire department dispatched.

  • Evacuate yourself, your family, valuables and pets.

  • Leave your door open so that the fire department doesn’t have to break it in.


A phone number is one of the most important tools in your home safety arsenal. For the wellbeing of your family and neighbors, anything involving electrical work in New York City should be performed by a licensed general electrician. That’s why if you’re in need of an experienced NYC electrician, always keep PK & Altman Electric’s phone number handy.

PK & Altman Electric’s service area includes Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and the greater New York City metropolitan area. If you’re a homeowner or property manager with business or residential properties, you can still rely on the pros you know at PK & Altman to be onsite to address any emergency electrical issues on short notice. That includes midnight calls and weekends.

Our team of technicians is ready to handle any form of electrical emergency. No matter the time of day, if you need help with an electrical problem, call (212) 673-9400 and we will get there right away.

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