A range of problems can cause electrical emergencies. From a faulty appliance to dodgy DIY, your supply could go off suddenly if there’s a fault.
If you have a sudden problem with your home electrics, you’ll need to determine whether the fault is within your home or not. Power outages often affect more than one property at the same time, so ask your neighbours and see if the street lights are on.
Electrical Safety First
If someone has been injured before the power went off, turn off the mains power (assuming there’s no damage around the fuse box that could harm you) and call 999 without delay.
Don’t touch anyone that has received a shock if they’re still in contact with the supply. They may be unconscious, so you might have to use a long wooden implement, such as a broom handle, to push the appliance away.
Acting In an Emergency
If the problem seems to be isolated to your own property, the cause may be simple. Sometimes your power will go off because the trip switch has been activated. Often, something as simple as a blown lightbulb can cause this (you’ll sometimes hear the switch clunk into the off position).
Grab your torch and head for the fuse box. It’s normally located near the meter. If you don’t have a torch, use your phone’s screen to light the way. Unplug everything in the house and switch all the light switches to the off position except one near you.
Press the Test button on your fuse box. If the power comes back on, you’ll see the light come on. Flip the trip switch back up and that should solve the problem.
If the Test button doesn’t work and the supply trips again immediately, you have a more serious electrical fault that could be very dangerous. The situation that caused it could kill, so don’t be tempted to mess with any wires or take risks with your supply.
And remember: if you’re nervous of fuse boxes or you’re not sure what you’re doing, just call an electrician: better safe than sorry.
Dealing With Electrical Faults
Most electrical faults require the attention of a qualified electrician. MD Bespoke has an emergency number you can call to get help. Don’t call your power company as they won’t assist if the fault is within your property.
While you’re without power, preserve body heat; dress in layers to keep warm. Keep your fridge and freezer door closed so that the food won’t spoil. And if you need to light candles or use matches, don’t leave them burning when you’re not in the room. If you have young children or pets, it’s usually better to ask a neighbour for assistance than struggle through the night on your own.
But the most important advice is this: never, ever try to investigate or fix an electrical fault yourself, particularly if you can see damage to appliances or switches, scorch marks around sockets, sparks or flames. Call a specialist like MD Bespoke who will rectify the problem safely and for an affordable price.