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Navigating Electrical Emergencies in Your Home

Encountering an electrical emergency is inevitable for most of us. Our team of experienced electricians at Leading Electrical wanted to share their top strategies for managing electrical emergencies while keeping your family, home and valuables as safe as possible. 

Electrical Safety at Home

Whether you experience a faulty light or a blackout during a storm, electrical issues and emergencies can pose a risk to yourself, your family and your property. The easiest way to stay safe and reduce potential risks is to know how to respond in these situations. The team shared some quick and simple electrical safety tips in this previous article. 

Power outage or blackout? 

People often use the terms power outage and blackout interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Generally speaking:

  1. Power Outages describe the loss of electricity in a specific location. They can affect your home or apartment. Power outages can also affect your street or neighbourhood, impacting more than just one home.

Power outages are often caused locally by faulty appliances, machines or electrical systems. Thanks to our modern electrical systems, power outages can be resolved much quicker than blackouts. 

  1. Blackouts typically describe a more widespread power outage over a larger area such as a suburb or neighbourhood. Blackouts are caused by significant disruptions to the electricity supply infrastructure and are often caused by natural disasters.
Leading Electrical team during an electrical project with surge protection in Sydney

Staying Safe During Blackout or Power Outage

If you experience a power outage or blackout, it is important to take steps to ensure your own safety as well as that of others. The Leading Electrical team recommend:

  • Staying Calm: Remaining calm and ensuring anyone present is calm will allow you to respond safely to the situation. 
  • Check for Electrical Hazards: Visually inspecting your home or garage for obvious causes will allow you to plan accordingly. 
  • Check with Your Electricity Provider: Depending on the severity of the outage, your energy provider may provide updates on their website or app. 
  • Keep Fridges and Freezers Closed: Doing so will maintain a cooler temperature for longer and prevent food from spoiling during prolonged outages. 
  • Preserve Resources: Keeping mobile phone and laptop use to a minimum will ensure you can prolong battery life in the event the power disruptions take longer than expected to be resolved.  

Follow these steps to ensure that you deal with power outages smoothly and safely. This will help minimise any inconvenience or danger to you and those around you. 

Faulty Appliances and Electrical Devices

Faulty appliances pose a serious risk of electrical emergencies in kitchens, bathrooms and garages. These emergencies can include power surges and tripped circuit breakers. Faulty appliances can also lead to electrical fires and even the risk of electrocution.

Our electrical team recommends unplugging any faulty appliances from power right away. Do not use them until you fix or replace them. 


Perhaps one of the most serious electrical emergencies is electrical shock. In the event you or a loved one is electrocuted, please seek immediate emergency medical help by calling 000. 

Electric shock occurs when an electric current flows through the body. Often, this happens following direct contact with live wiring or faulty electrical equipment. The level of injury depends on the duration and severity of exposure to electrical current. Minor exposure can lead to superficial injuries such as skin burns. Prolonged exposure to strong currents can result in severe injury and in some cases can be fatal. 

Electric Shock is an Emergency

If someone is electrocuted, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Turn off all power. Where possible, locate the main switchboard and disconnect all power from the site. 
  2. Do not touch anyone unless you are certain they are no longer in contact with the source of electricity
  3. Call 000 and stay on the line to follow instructions from the emergency services in your state or territory. 
  4. Administer first aid where possible.
  5. Ensure the source of electricity doesn’t pose a risk to others if it is safe to do so. 

Remaining calm and following a process is crucial in electrical emergencies to ensure the best outcomes for injured individuals. 

Electrical storm causing a blackout in many homes

If Your Home Loses Power – Circuit Breaker 

If you lose power at home because of circuit breaker tripping, there are steps you can take to fix the problem. If you’re not sure about what to do, it’s best to contact your trusted electrician for help. If you don’t have one, our team at standing by for your call. 

Circuit Breakers

A circuit breaker protects from faults in your electrical circuit. It activates when high currents, short circuits and overloads are detected. The result is an immediate power cut to protect from electric shock, electrical fires and injuries. 

If a circuit breaker has tripped, you can reset it yourself. If your circuit breaker keeps tripping or won’t reset, it’s best to contact a licensed electrician for assistance.

Resetting a Circuit Breaker 

If your circuit breaker trips you can reset it by following these steps:

  1. Turn off and disconnect any appliances, devices or lights being used when the circuit breaker tripped. One was likely the cause and it is important to disconnect all from the power outlet and source of electricity. 
  2. Locate your main switchboard, it is likely located on the side of the house. You may find them internally in older homes and apartments. 
  3. Turn off your solar power to ensure electricity isn’t being sent to the main switchboard. 
  4. Locate the affected circuit breaker and switch it to the on position. It is likely to be the only circuit breaker in the off position. 
  5. Test the appliance/s that were in use when the circuit breaker tripped. You should test one appliance or device at a time. This will reduce electrical load and make it easier to identify the cause. 

Choosing a Qualified Electrician

The Leading Electrical team appreciate that not everyone may be comfortable resetting a circuit breaker or diagnosing electrical issues in their home. We recommend choosing an electrician who is licensed and insured to help when you need it most. 

If you don’t have a preferred electrician, our team is available to visit you at your home. We can help resolve any electrical fault quickly and safely.  

We look forward to hearing from you!

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