Spring is finally here in the Twin Cities! But along with spring comes the promise of warmer weather, which, for Minnesotans, often includes multiple thunderstorms. It’s one thing to watch whipping winds and dazzling lighting from the safety of your living room, but when that nasty weather affects your electrical system, the situation can get hazardous in a hurry.
At Harrison Electric, we’re committed to helping you and your family stay protected from electrical hazards. Below, you’ll find a brief outline of the critical steps you must take when severe weather damages your electrical system. Before warm weather rolls on through, give this guide a rundown so you know what to do.
Don’t Panic! Step Back & Assess the Situation
If lightning strikes your home or the surrounding area, and you begin to smell smoke, keep a level head, grab your cell phone, and get yourself and your family out of there immediately! Though household lightning strikes aren’t terribly common, they’re responsible for nearly 90% of lightning-related deaths, nearly 80% of injuries, and almost 70% of property damage.
If, however, your power simply cut out during a severe storm and there’s no immediate danger, the first thing you should do is check for tripped circuit breakers. During a lightning storm, excess ambient electricity may cause your breakers to trip because they’re designed to protect your entire electrical system from damage. A tripped breaker isn’t necessarily an emergency, but in some cases, it may indicate surge damage to other electrical components.
When resetting your breakers fails to restore power, it’s time to assess the situation. Where is the power out? What were you doing when it cut out? Did a tree take out a power line? Does this situation occur frequently? Could the problem be due to damaged electrical components, not the storm? Maintain your wits and analyze the situation thoroughly. Keeping your cool is the best way to avoid hazardous mistakes made in haste.
Make the Call: Should You Call a Professional Electrician?
In the midst of an electrical emergency, you must think logically. How much do you know about residential electrical work? Or electrical work in general? If the answer borders on not much to nothing at all, it’s time to call in the professionals.
Emergencies are not the time to get do-it-yourself savvy with your electrical system—and to be honest, there’s never a good time to perform DIY electrical work. Though your monthly budget may not include funds for electrical repairs or updates, hiring a professional electrician is essential to keep your household well protected.
Attempting to diagnose and repair your own wiring isn't just hazardous; it’s downright irresponsible. What if you make a mistake? Unfortunately, you might end up paying for it with your life. Electricity is serious business—never take it lightly.
Inquire About Additional Electrical Upgrades
When your emergency electrician arrives, don’t hesitate to inquire about additional electrical upgrades that can enhance the safety of your system. If you own an older home and the wiring has gone without updates for years, chances are there are several components in need of additional attention. Some of the most common potentially dangerous electrical issues we see include:
● Outdated fuse boxes. If you own a historic home (built before the 1940s), there may still be remnants of an old fuse box located somewhere within. If fuses control your home’s electricity, residential electricians are experts at safely replacing fuses with circuit breakers. Not only are circuit breakers more reliable, but they also require far less maintenance than their antiquated counterparts.
● Outdated wiring. Does your home still contain hazardous aluminum wiring? If so, you should have it updated immediately. Aluminum wiring has a high potential to cause a house fire, so for your safety and peace of mind, have it replaced as soon as possible.
● Damaged outlets. If any of your outlets are loose, sparking, or otherwise damaged, it’s critical that you have them updated immediately. An electrician can easily replace hazardous receptacles with new outlets to decrease your risk of electrocution and house fires.
Need a Residential Electrician in the Twin Cities? Contact Harrison Electric Today
At Harrison Electric, we’re committed to helping you keep your home and family protected from electrical emergencies. If you’ve noticed hazardous-looking electrical wiring, receptacles, or other electrical components, we’re just a phone call away anytime you need us. To learn more about how we can update your electrical system for improved safety, feel free to give our team a call at 763-544-3300 or get in touch with us on our contact page, and we’ll get back to your shortly. For your convenience, you can also schedule service online or request a service quote.