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Keep Your Home Safe: Electrical Emergencies That Shouldn't Wait

Home > QRC Blog > Keep Your Home Safe: Electrical Emergencies That Shouldn’t Wait

Electrical Emergencies That Shouldn't Wait

Many of our home’s amenities use electricity, from lighting to hot water to the TV. When an electrical system isn’t working as it should, it disrupts your daily life. However, when your system puts your household in danger, it’s time to seek electrical emergency services.

Read on to learn how to recognize common electrical emergencies, when to call an electrician, and how to prevent future electrical issues.

Recognizing the Red Flags: Signs of Electrical Emergencies

Electrical emergencies have the potential to cause severe injury and damage to your home. It’s important for you and your household to know how to recognize the signs and what to do in case of an electrical emergency. The following are common signs you’re experiencing an electrical repair emergency.

Flickering lights

Flickering lights often indicate an electrical issue. It could be as simple as a loose light bulb or a problem with the municipal power grid. Turn the light off, gently tighten the bulb, and turn the light back on. If that doesn’t work or there’s more than one light flickering, you may have faulty wiring or an outlet compatibility issue.

Faulty wiring has the potential to arch, shock, smoke, or start a fire in the wall. If your dimmer switch is incompatible with your light bulb, the unstable power may cause the bulb to flicker and the switch to heat to dangerous temperatures.

Burning smells at an outlet or switch 

A burning smell from an outlet or switch is a serious electrical issue. It suggests damaged wiring or a faulty component within the receptacle or switch and may lead to arching, electrical shock, and fire.

Buzzing electrical panel

Buzzing coming from your circuit box is a sure sign you have a serious electrical panel problem. When a circuit breaker overheats, it may smell and make a buzzing sound. It smells because the excess heat is melting components within the breaker or attached wiring. 

Sparking outlet or appliance

If you see sparks coming from an outlet or appliance, shut off the power at the breaker panel and call an electrician. Don’t use the circuit until you’ve had the system inspected and repaired. 

Frequent tripped breakers or blown fuses

If your circuit breaker keeps tripping or fuses keep blowing, you have an electrical emergency. Frequent tripped breakers or blown fuses happen when your electrical system detects a fault, such as a short or overloaded circuit. To contain the energy, the system shuts off power at the source. 

Shocks from electrical devices, outlets, or appliances

Electrical shocks are a sure sign you need emergency repairs. Turn off the power to the circuit, and don’t turn it back on until you’ve had it inspected and repaired by a licensed electrician.

Common Electrical Emergencies and Their Risks

The signs of electrical emergencies usually indicate one or more root causes. 

Overloaded outlets

Outlets and circuits can only safely provide a finite amount of power. Plugging in many devices, even through a power bar, can overload your outlet. This may lead to overheating electrical components, shock, or fire. High-draw appliances like fans, hair dryers, microwaves, and air conditioners should have a dedicated outlet.

Inadequate/outdated breaker panel

As we add more convenience to our lives, it’s easy to forget these items draw power. What was once an ample supply can quickly become too much amp draw for your system. To limit the potential for damage or injury, have your system upgraded as soon as possible.

Damaged/faulty wiring

Your electrical system can easily sustain damage through everyday wear, rodents, and faulty manufacturing. Damaged wiring leads to shock, sparks, overheating, arching, and fire. 

Power outage

If you’re the only house on the block with a power outage, you’re experiencing an electrical emergency.

Electrical fire

Electrical fire is very dangerous. Fires can quickly travel throughout the home and cause a lot of damage. 

When to Call a 24-Hour Electrician

Some homeowners resist calling an after-hours electrician because they’re considering DIY repairs or don’t want to inconvenience anyone. While basic electrical tasks are simple if you have experience, emergency problems require a licensed electrician.

Emergency electrical service isn’t an inconvenience to us. QRC provides after-hours emergency repair because we’re committed to providing top-quality customer service.

When you call an emergency electrician, ensure you have the following information ready:

  • The nature of the issue
  • How long it’s been going on 
  • The affected areas
  • A description of any upgrades or recent changes to your electrical system or amp load
  • Date of your last electrical system safety inspection

Don’t approach any electrical appliance or system if it’s near water, or if you’ll have to stand in water. If it’s safe to do so, turn off the power to the circuit for the affected area. If the issue affects the whole house, turn off the main power.

During an emergency electrical repair service, the electrician inspects and assesses the system to determine the root cause and presents options that consider your needs and budget. If your issue requires an upgrade, we can help with the necessary permits and even improve the overall efficiency of your system. 

Preventing Electrical Emergencies: Tips for Homeowners

While unforeseen things happen, you can help prevent electrical emergencies by following these tips:

  • Don’t overload your circuits
  • Perform regular inspections
  • Keep pests like mice and rodents out of your home
  • Update old wiring and fixtures

Finally, the best way to prevent electrical emergencies is to schedule regular safety inspections and maintenance with a licensed electrician. QRC offers a Comfort Club Membership — for a low monthly fee, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your home’s systems are taken care of with annual inspections and discounts on parts and services.

QRC for Electrical Emergencies in North Carolina

Life happens, and electrical emergencies are fairly common. Whether you’ve just moved into a new home, experienced recent changes, or simply have an old system, QRC can help with emergency services in Winston-Salem, NC, and the surrounding area.

Not sure if we service homes in your area? Contact us today! One of our friendly team members is standing by to answer your questions.