What to Do During an Electrical Emergency

Electricity is a powerful tool, and it is everywhere. Electrical contractors are aware of the dangers associated with wiring and maintenance, and building owners should be informed, as well. At a minimum, most people should understand what to do during the event of an electrical emergency. Below are examples of emergencies with tips for how to handle them.
Electric Shock:
When one imagines an electrical emergency, the mind immediately envisions a powerful electric jolt. It doesn’t take much of an electrical current to cause pain, and slightly more can cause serious injury or death.
The human body is made up of roughly 70 percent water, making a person an excellent energy conductor. The amp measurement refers to how much electricity is flowing, and that is what hurts a person. Voltage refers to the power behind the jolt, as in the pressure forcing electricity through a wire. Voltage can determine whether a person is able to jump away from the initial shock, or whether a person is knocked down or rendered unconscious.
Anyone can become the victim of an electric shock simply by touching an unguarded wire or a faulty appliance. If a person is shocked and is unable to move, nearby people must be careful not to touch the victim, as electricity might continue to flow. If possible, unplug the source of electricity or turn off the power at a breaker box. Once emergency authorities are contacted, someone must call the power company right away.
Electrical Fire:
By definition, electricity is incredibly hot. A light bulb alone, merely heated by electricity, can produce fire when it is too close to a flammable surface. Pure electricity is even hotter. If an electrified wire loses its insulation, referred to as a “live wire,” a fire becomes more likely. An overloaded cord or power source can result in fire, as well.
During an electrical fire, it is important that a person not put water on the fire. Water is a natural conductor and could spread the threat of fire, or worse, result in electrocution. A chemical fire extinguisher is the best option.
When faced with a fire emergency, people must vacate the area and contact emergency authorities and the power company to ensure the problem is as contained as possible.
Power Outage:
Plunging into darkness is risky. A person could trip and fall. He or she might also be at risk of running into a solid object. As a precaution, homes and other buildings should be equipped with emergency flashlights that are easily located. Everyone in a building must know where the flashlights are and how to find an exit in the dark.
And as always, contact the power company immediately following a power outage.

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