If an electrical emergency arose today, would you know what to do?

According to the folks at the weather bureau, we’ve just had one of the wettest March/Aprils on record and when the ground is wet, trees are known to fall over and into power-lines. So we thought we might discuss what to do in an electrical emergency.

Electrical emergency from storm damage

Gusty storms happen can pick up speed and send unsecured items into power-lines or uproot trees. So, after a storm, make sure that when you venture outside you’re alert to the possibility of danger. When power-lines fall to the ground, they are still live, leaving potentially deadly trails hidden under debris.There are a few things you should do to stay safe in an electrical emergency:
  1. Before moving any fallen trees or tree branches do a visual check to ensure that they’re not lodged in or touching power-lines.
  2. If the tree has fallen onto power-lines or brought the power-lines down, do not go near the power-line or touch them.
  3. Alert anyone else on the street of the potential dangers
  4. Notify your local power companies of any damage that may have occurred during the storm.

What about potential electrical emergency dangers inside your home?

Winter can also bring with it an increased chance of electrical shocks or electrical fires especially from heaters and electric blankets.

So, before you plug in any electrical appliance, that you’ve not used since last winter – particularly if you’ve stored it in the roof, garage or shed, make sure you do a visual check of the cord and appliance for any damage that may have occurred since you last used it. Critters that live in roofs and sheds, love chewing those sorts of cords.

If the cord is frayed, you can see wires, or your visual check reveals something else that’s just not right, either throw the item away or have it repaired by a qualified professional. It’s absolutely not worth the risk to yours or your loved ones lives.

If it looks okay but sparks when you turn it on, turn it off straight away and follow the same advice above.

And don’t forget, when you leave home or go to bed at night, make sure that all your heaters and electric blankets are turned off. We hate seeing the firies talking about homes that go up in smoke because of the heater being left on or an electric blanket that overheated, shorted and caused a fire.

What if there is an electrical fire?

In the event of an electrical fire, turn off the power and call triple zero. Never throw water on the fire or use a water-based fire extinguisher because it won’t work. Only use a CO2 fire extinguisher to fight an electrical fire.

What if someone suffers an electrical shock?

If someone does suffer an electrical shock, immediately call Triple Zero (000). The operator will not only tell you what to do and send help, but they’ll also notify the power company.

The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t touch the victim whilst they’re still in contact with a live power source. Only once the power has been turned off at the main switch and the appliance removed from the plug is it safe to touch the victim. Here are some simple tips to deal with an electrical emergency from electrical shock:

  1. Turn the main switch off for the electricity to the building.
  2. Dial Triple Zero – 000 and ask for help.
  3. Once the main power has been turned off, turn off the appliance at the switch and unplug the item that gave the electrical shock. Once it is safe to do so, give the victim first aid.
  4. Do not touch any burns, blisters or remove clothing of the victim because you’re likely to do more harm than good.
  5. Stay with the victim until help arrives.

We hope you don’t need to use any of these ‘what if’ instructions this Winter. Please remember that electricity is serious business – best handled by a licensed professional. If you have electrical issues that you’d like sorted out in your home or office, we’d be delighted to help you. You can call us on 1300 045 103 or drop us a note.

Shopping Basket