Chaos In The Storm
How to Handle Electrical Emergencies
Losing power during a storm is never fun. Any power outage risks damage the vital parts of your home’s electrical system. Our Bickimer Electric service experts have decades of experience in dealing with these emergencies. In this article, we want to equip you with the tools you need to minimize risk and damage to your electrical system and appliances.
If In Doubt, Leave It Alone
The most important advice is that if your safety has to take 100% priority. If you’re ever in doubt about your electrical panel’s safety or any of your home electrical system, don’t touch it. Let a licensed and experienced professional handle the issue for you. It’s never worth risking your life to save your property.
Cut it Out
Your power failing is inconvenient enough, but most damage is actually done when the power is restored. Everything remains switched on and active. When power is restored, it surges through the system with everything requesting it at once. This surge can cause damage to breakers in the panel that trip prematurely. Older homes, with out-of-date wiring, are subject to overheating circuits that can cause arcing, short-circuits, and even fires.
If it’s safe to do so, switch off the breakers to your major appliances (stove/heating & cooling/refrigerator/chest freezers), and unplug as many devices as possible. Switch off all but one or two light switches to alert you when the power returns. When power is restored, switch each breaker back on one at a time and plug your devices back in. Calling for power in smaller increments will protect all of your devices.
Surge, Baby, Surge
Whole-home surge protectors are wonderful devices that protect your home from catastrophic power surges that would cause significant damage to your electrical system. When you have a power outage, it’s essential to check that your surge protector is still functioning. Check the status lights on the unit, and make sure there is still power running to the unit.
Kansas City homes alone suffer an average of 20 power spikes per day, every day. Subject to significant weather activity, including tornadoes, power outages can be common. It’s crucial that you are prepared for any kind of outage. We recommend that every home have a storm kit, kept in an easily accessible area. This kit should contain flashlights, portable charged power packs for cell phones, matches, a lighter, and candles (be careful with any flame-based light source).
Safety First; Safety Last
The single most important thing to remember is that your safety and that of your family have to come first. Never put yourself at risk if you’re unsure of the state of your electrical system.
Proudly serving the Overland Park and surrounding areas, Bickimer Electric is your number one Kansas City electrical specialist!
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