Emergencies happen all the time and when they do, it is best if you have prepared ahead of time. In situations involving anything electrical, a little preparedness can go a long way and might possibly save your life. So here are a few tips that will hopefully make you a little better prepared, should any of these situations happen to you.
Probably everyone has heard the warning against plugging too many things into one single outlet. This includes using extension cords and power strips. You see, a wall outlet with two plug receptors was made for just that: having two things plugged in. That’s pretty much all the load they were created to handle. When you plug in a power strip or extension cord, you are upping that number to however many things can be plugged into that strip or cord, all into a socket that was designed for one single item.
Plugging in too many things can create an overload that could cause sparks to fly, quite literally. Since this is a sign of a serious defect or overload problem, you should call an electrician immediately. Even if it’s in the middle of the night, many electricians have 24-hour service and can send someone out promptly. And for an issue this severe, that is certainly your best option. You may think you’ve got the problem under control but there could still be hot spots inside the wall that could result in fire.
Power outages are another type of emergency, but they aren’t usually fixed right away. Always be prepared for a power outage by stocking up on candles, batteries, lamps and preferably alternate cooking and heating sources. It is even better still to have a backup power supply, but many times this is not a feasible option, such as in a renter’s situation.
When most people think of power outages, they readily associate them with weather conditions such as heavy snow and ice or heavy thunderstorms and wind. However, many other things can cause power outages as well, including car wrecks that might take down a power line, trees being cut down and falling on the power lines, and small animals that might be electrocuted on the wires thus shorting out a section of service. So even when there seems to be no feasible reason, you could lose power in the blink of an eye.
Another thing to keep in mind while the power is out is to go around the house and shut off as many items as possible, especially air conditioners or furnaces, dryers that may have been running, microwaves and electric cook stoves. It doesn’t hurt to go ahead and turn off lights, coffee pots, and anything else that can easily be turned back on once power is restored. When the linemen are trying to restore power, having all these items still in the “on” mode can cause the transformers to overload and keep the electricity off. Reducing the load by turning these things off helps them to be able to help you, by getting your electricity restored faster.