Electrical emergencies such as an appliance malfunction, a power failure in your home or a neighborhood power outage can occur at any time. Review the information below so you will know what to do if an electrical emergency strikes.

You should know how to turn off the electrical power to your home and turn off and reset individual circuit breakers. ALWAYS call a professional electrician for service, Electricity is very dangerous & Deadly & it only takes one time!


Instruction on electrical repairs is beyond the scope of this website

Main Disconnect

  • Turn off the electrical power to your house by shutting off the main disconnect. The main disconnect is one or more main fuses or circuit breakers located on the circuit panel.
  • If the circuit panel is located in a laundry room or some other place where there could be water on the floor, use rubber gloves when shutting off the main disconnect. Keep a pair of rubber gloves near the circuit panel at all times for this purpose.
  • Be sure everyone in your household knows where the circuit breaker panel is located and can shut off the power.

Power Outage

  • If the power goes out suddenly in your home, decide whether the outage affects just your home or the entire neighborhood. If it is a neighborhood outage, notify your electrical utility.
  • If the electrical outage affects your home only, check for and reset tripped circuit breakers. If a breaker immediately trips again, call a professional electrician to test your electrical system.
  • Turn off or disconnect all motor-driven and electronic appliances to avoid possible damage from either inadequate power or a sudden electrical surge when power is restored. The furnace blower motor can be turned off by turning off the circuit breaker for the furnace.
  • Motors for dishwashers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, garbage disposals, range fans, sump pumps, refrigerators and other appliances can be disconnected by turning off or unplugging the appliance. Computers, televisions, video recorders, stereos and other electronic equipment should also be turned off. Turn on a radio and a lamp to alert you when service is restored.
  • After power has been restored, it should be safe to turn on all appliances. You can retard food spoilage by not opening refrigerators or freezers during the outage unless absolutely necessary. Food in a tightly packed freezer will stay frozen for up to 48 hours if the door has been kept closed. Food in a partially filled freezer may keep for 24 hours. If you are in doubt about the safety of frozen food after a power outage, throw it out.
  • Always have flashlights, extra batteries, candles, matches and a battery-powered transistor radio handy in case of power failures. Store these items in an accessible place known to all family members. If any of these items are used for any other purpose, make sure they are promptly returned. Finally, keep lit candles away from drafts, flammable objects and children.

Sparking Appliance

  • Do not touch a smoking or sparking appliance. Instead, cut off power to the appliance by unplugging the appliance, turning off the wall switch controlling the appliance or turning off the circuit breaker for the appliance. Allow the appliance to cool, then take it to a repair shop or call a professional service representative to repair the appliance.
  • If the appliance catches fire, get everyone out of the house, meet at your designated area and call the fire department from a neighbor’s home. Do not use water on an electrical fire, it can be fatal. If you discover an electrical fire early, use a multipurpose fire extinguisher on the flames.
  • If an appliance’s electrical plug smokes or sparks, unplug the appliance by pulling its cord. Do not touch the plug itself. After the plug cools, inspect the plug and cord for damage. If they are damaged, replace the plug and cord or have them replaced by a professional service representative. Reset any tripped circuit breakers.
  • If the plug and cord appear to be OK and there are no tripped circuit breakers, the electrical outlet may be at fault. Test the outlet by plugging another appliance you know works properly into the receptacle. If that plug sparks too, replace the outlet or have it replaced by a professional electrician. If the new appliance does not cause sparks, then the original appliance is probably faulty and should be repaired or replaced.
  • For more information concerning Electrical Safety, go to Electrical Safety Publications – US Consumer Product Safety Commission.