An electrical emergency at home should be dealt with calmly but efficiently. By an emergency we speak of a fire caused by a short circuit or an overheated appliance or section of wiring. Short circuits and overheating wires will very soon turn into fires and the fire will expand very fast if something is not done about it immediately.
The first thing to do when you see smoke coming out of an outlet or wall is to call the fire department. If the problem is large and you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg it is important for them to be on their way to your home before things escalade into real danger and chaos.
Do not touch the wall or outlet from where the smoke or sparks are coming. You do not know if electricity or fire is behind it. If either is present you can be seriously hurt. So step away and do not allow anyone to come close to the source of smoke or sparks. Have everyone leave the house in an orderly fashion and stand by the curve where you can see them and be sure everyone is out.
Return into the house through the entrance that will get you closer to the main circuit box. Carefully open it and check to see if there is no smoke or sparks coming from it. If there are sparks or smoke coming from it, close the circuit box door and exit the house immediately. Wait for the firemen to take care of the situation. If everything is normal throw off the main circuit and all secondary circuit breakers.
If fire has not started where the short circuit occurred this will cut the flow of electricity to the conflict point and will allow the melted wires to cool off. If the fire has already started it will eliminate the possibility of other short circuits feeding the fire or starting fires elsewhere behind the walls. Close the circuit box door and exit the house. Wait for the fire department to arrive and check your house for danger.
It is important to have a chemical fire extinguisher at hand at home, especially in the kitchen. Do not use water to try to put out an electrical fire. Under no circumstances are you to throw water on this type of fire because it will not put it off, it will make it grow larger and hotter. Electrical fires are put out with chemical foam which cuts the oxygen supply to the fire and allows it to go off.
It is necessary for you to have a certified electrician check all the wiring and appliances in your house after an emergency of this kind. The rubber protection on wires is weakened and deformed by heat; you must be sure that all the wires inside the walls are in perfect conditions and have not suffered any damage. If you don’t, you may find yourself calling the fire department again very soon.
Leo’s Electric Corp. offers 24 Hour Emergency Services.
For an Electrical Emergency call Leo’s Electric Corp. at (516) 315.8118