Electrical Experts

Safety Tips from an Electrician: What to Do During a Power Outage

Whenever they do not inconvenience entire towns or cities, power outages may be limited to neighborhoods or blocks. When electricity to and from a particular location is cut off, the outage is said to be “localized.” Sometimes, it can be localized to one very specific place: your home.

Here are a few tips on what to do once your household – or just part of it – loses power. Remember that you must not do any of these with wet hands or in the dark without a flashlight. Turn off and unplug all appliances before proceeding – you never know if the current will surge back, posing a greater threat to yourself and your devices.

Check a GFCI outlet

If you use GFCI outlets, check these first when lamps or appliances go out. GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupters, automatically shut down the flow of electricity once they detect irregularities in an electrical system; they might have brought about the outage. If the powers not immediately restored to the affected circuit once you reset these interrupters, you would have to determine other causes of the problem.

Try resetting the main circuit breakersCheck the circuit breaker

Go to your main circuit breaker and flip the main breaker switch on and off then reset individual breakers, as well. You will know there is a problem with a circuit if the main breaker trips as you reset an individual breaker. The breaker that trips is likely the cause for the outage.

Double-check appliances’ electrical load

Once the breakers are in order go back and plug-in the appliances that you previously unplugged. If the breaker trips again That’s a possibility that your appliances may be overloading your system’s capacity, triggering the breaker and causing the power outage.

If an appliance doesn’t trip the breaker but still doesn’t function, search for signs like smoke, a burnt smell, or blackened parts on the appliance which are all signs of serious fault.

Once you have detected the reason for the outage, you need not do anything further aside from calling a professional electrician. An electrician will perform the necessary repairs to restore power to your home – as well recommend measures to ensure a localized outage does not happen again.

Sources:

Troubleshooting a power outage. Networx.com.

Be prepared for power outages. Mid.org.

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