What should I do if I have an electrical emergency?
An electrical emergency can happen at any time and can be domestic or in commercial property. Common electrical issues include light failure, socket problems, poor wiring, fuse box blowouts or a complete power failure can stop a household’s clockwork activities or a business’s productivity and at the worst, a member of your family or workforce could suffer from an electric shock.
There are many things that you need to keep in mind when facing an electrical emergency in your home or office. In fact, you should get a professional electrician to inspect the electrical circuits in your home or workplace if you have any doubts about the safety of your electrical system.
If you have an electrical emergency, or the power goes off, you should contact your network operator and electrical contractor (Finish Electrical 01803 472423) right away. They look after the safety and security of your electricity and will be able to advise of the action you should take.
Typical electrical hazards and injuries
The main hazards of working with electricity are:
- electric shock and burns from contact with live parts
- injury from exposure, fire from faulty electrical equipment or installations
- an explosion caused by unsuitable electrical apparatus or static electricity igniting flammable vapours or dust, for example in a spray paint booth
Electricity emergencies and safety advice
Here is some essential information you should be aware of and equipment you should have available in an environment where an electrical emergency may occur.
- Machinery– Ensure you and all your staff are familiar with where all the emergency stop buttons are for all machinery items. Ensure that all operatives know how to use the electrical equipment safely.
- Fire Extinguishers– All offices or working environments should have fire extinguishers available, working and in clear sight in order to adhere to health and safety regulations. There are three extinguishers that can be used on electrical fires: water mist, dry powder and Co2 Gas extinguishers. These can be identified by colour:
- Dry powder = blue
- Co2 (Carbon dioxide) = black
Never use water on an electrical fire as this can cause it to spread. For more information on Fire Extinguishers please visit our sister company, Fire Secure.
- First Aid Box– The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. These Regulations apply to all workplaces including those with less than five employees and to the self-employed.
Employers are required to carry out an assessment of first-aid needs. This involves consideration of workplace hazards and risks, the size of the organisation and other relevant factors, to determine what first-aid equipment, facilities and personnel should be provided.
In the unfortunate incident of someone getting injured in an electrical emergency, it is essential to have burns and electrical injury first aid equipment available. Find out more about Health & Safety legislation here.
- Electrical Personal Protective Equipment – Depending on the task to be performed, Personal Protective Equipment for the electric power industry generally includes safety glasses, face shields, hard hats, safety shoes, insulating (rubber) gloves with leather protectors, insulating sleeves, and flame-resistant (FR) clothing. Further information on PPE can be found here.
- Contact numbers of all emergency services including your electrical supplier and electrical contractor. These should all be in an easy to access place or file that everyone is aware of. You should also map out an emergency escape route should a fire break out.
If someone has received an electrical shock, do not touch them as the current could transfer to you. Instead, call the ambulance right away.
Whether domestic or commercial, it is essential that you undertake regular inspections for testing all your wiring installations, IE. the circuits from the meter and consumer unit supplying light switches, sockets, wired-in equipment (eg cookers, hairdryers) etc. This work should be carried out by a competent electrician.
Finish Electrical have electricians on hand to deal with any problem, any time across Torbay, Teignbridge, the South Hams and the wider Devon area.