Electrical Emergency Checklist

Electrical Emergency Guide

Electrical emergencies happen more often than you might think. 51,000 house fires each year are started by faulty wiring and other electrical problems, and 500 people each year die during these events. When electrical emergencies do happen, it's important to be prepared.

Recognizing that you're having an electrical emergency and keeping your home and members of your household safe is important. At Add-All Electric, we encourage of all our clients to be vigilant, watch their electrical system for signs of a problem, and take fast action when an electrical emergency occurs. Knowing what to do can save your home and the people inside. 

What Is An Electrical Emergency?

An electrical emergency is an urgent problem that causes the failure of your electrical system and potentially creates a situation where damage to property or injury to a person can occur. There are different types of electrical emergencies, so being able to recognize each one and knowing what to do when it occurs is important. 

Power Outage

A power outage can happen for a variety of reasons. Often, power outages occur because of storms, high winds and equipment failure.

Why it's a problem: Although power outages rarely result in injuries, they can be life-threatening if you or members of your family rely on medical equipment that needs power in order to operate. Some power outages can also end in a power surge that can do damage to sensitive electronic equipment as well as your home's appliances. Power outages can also lead refrigerators and freezers to warm up slowly, causing food spoilage. 

What you can do:

  • Unplug sensitive electronic equipment. 
  • Turn off electricity to large appliances at the dedicated circuit on the electrical panel. 
  • Close the refrigerator and freezer and keep them closed until the power turns back on. 
  • Leave a light on and plugged in so that when the power turns back on, you'll know. 

Following a storm, you may see downed power lines outside, or you may even see the power line to your home has been damaged or downed. Stay far away from downed power lines. Call your utility company to report downed lines, or call a trusted electrician to restore the line to your home

Electrical Fire

Electrical fires can be deadly, but you can stop the worst of the damage from occurring by watching for warning signs and knowing what to do. 

What causes electrical fires: Electrical fires can be caused by overloaded circuits, electrical arcing, outdated wiring and faulty wiring. 

Early warning signs of an electrical fire: 

  • Buzzing sounds from an outlet.
  • Burning smells coming from an outlet or electrical panel. 
  • Soot around the electrical outlet. 
  • Heat in the wall plate or around the breaker box. 
  • Sparks coming from an electrical outlet. 

What you can do: When a fire happens, it's important to get everyone out of the house as quickly as possible. If the fire isn't spreading, and you have a class C fire extinguisher on hand, you can use the fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Get everyone out of the house and call emergency services. 

Do not use water to put out an electrical fire. 

If you're noticing buzzing sounds but a fire has not yet started, you may be able to prevent a fire by cutting power to the affected circuit. Turn off the circuit or cut power to the entire breaker box, then get help from a skilled electrician. 

Breaker Failure/Short Circuit

A faulty circuit breaker can lead to an overloaded circuit or a short circuit. A short circuit is a fault in the electrical system that occurs when the electrical current takes the wrong path. Faulty circuits can occur when a breaker box is old or outdated. If you have a Zinsco or a Federal Pacific panel, you could be at particular risk for this problem. 

How you can tell if your electrical panel has a faulty circuit:

  • Buzzing sound
  • Burning smell
  • Scorch marks or soot around the circuit breaker
  • Heat on the circuit breaker
  • Circuits trip frequently

What to do if you're seeing signs of a problem: If you're seeing signs that your breaker box is experiencing electrical failure or fault, turn off power to your electrical box as quickly as possible and call your emergency electrician for fast service. Your electrician can inspect your electrical box and make recommendations for repair. 

Know The Warning Signs of An Emergency

If your home's electrical system is experiencing a problem, you may not smell burning smells or hear buzzing. Even so, you may notice a variety of problems, including:

  • Lights flickering or dimming when certain electrical appliances turn on
  • Fixtures get warm when in use or cords get warm when in use
  • Sparking occurs near the outlet

How to Prepare for An Electrical Emergency

You can't usually predict when an electrical emergency will occur, but you can be ready to protect yourself. 

Keep a class C fire extinguisher on hand. Different types of fire extinguishers are rated for different uses. Class C fire extinguishers are rated for use with electrical fires. Keep one on hand near your home's breaker box. 

Know how to turn off power to your electrical box. Know how to switch off power to your circuit breakers and how to turn off power to your electrical box generally. If you're not sure, ask a trusted electrician to show you the basics of working with your electrical panel. 

Have the number for a trusted emergency electrician available. Know that electrical emergencies can happen at any time, and that the only way to get help quickly is to make fast contact with an electrician that offers emergency services. Add-All Electric offers emergency services, and we're a trusted name in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Keep our phone number plugged into your phone and available on your fridge. 

How to Avoid Electrical Emergencies

Know when to upgrade your home's electrical system. Many modern homes need a bare minimum of 100 amps of power to function. If your home's breaker box is less than 100 amps, then you may need to install a whole new breaker box. You should also replace your home's breaker box if you have a Zinsco or Federal Pacific electrical panel. Getting this replaced is work that needs to be done by an electrician. 

Avoid DIY projects that should be done by a pro. If you don't know how to do your own electrical work, then it's important to hire a professional. Add-All Electric performs work like light fixture installation, ceiling fan replacement and more. There's no job too small! Call today to get your appointment scheduled. 

Inspect your electrical system periodically. Get your home's electrical system inspected occasionally. Your electrician may make recommendations for upgrades or may find problems like bad connections. Get repairs performed as soon as possible to prevent a disaster like a house fire.    

Use extension cords properly. Avoid using extension cords permanently, and don't run extension cords beneath rugs. Use indoor extension cords inside only, never outside. If an extension cord is frayed or damaged, replace it. Finally, avoid attaching multiple extension cords together - if you need a longer extension cord, find one that is long enough to span the entire distance. 

Need a Trusty Emergency Electrician? Call Add-All Electric

Add-All Electric has been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area for over 50 years. If you're in need of electrical services, call today to make an appointment. If you're having an electrical emergency, call for our emergency services. We're here to help!


Our Dallas Electricians Provide Services in the Following Cities:

Little Elm Tx

Mansfield Tx

Mesquite Tx

N. Richland Hills Tx

Rockwall Tx

Rowlett Tx

Sachse Tx

Waxahachie Tx

Weatherford Tx

Wylie Tx