How to Handle Electrical Emergencies

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Common electrical repairs, who to call, and when!

In most cases, a power outage in your home is a matter of inconvenience versus an actual electrical emergency; however, it’s something that you should never take for granted. It’s important to be educated on what to look for in any electricity-related incident so you can make the best call immediately to save time, money, and perhaps even your life.

Below are the most common household electrical issues that confront homeowners. In all cases, we recommend that you contact the experienced and professional electricians at On Time Electrical to ensure that you have responded appropriately or we can schedule a time to come out and make sure that your home is safe. Sometimes a simple phone call is all it takes to determine if your DIY approach was appropriate or if an affordable service call is needed to bring you security and peace of mind. Ultimately, our customers’ safety is our top priority.

Power outages: The first thing to do is take a look out of the window to see if your neighbors and surrounding homes have their lights on. If they are in the dark, too, you know it’s an area wide outage and you can call the local power company’s outage hotline to report your neighborhood as being effected. If you’re experiencing bad weather at the time, chances are there is a tree down on a power line nearby. This is a power inconvenience, not an emergency. If your house is the only one without power, then the problem is centralized to your home and that raises the concern level. Check your circuit breaker box and see if the main power circuit breaker has flipped to the “off” position (some say the circuit breaker has “tripped”). There is a reason your electrical panel automatically shuts power to your home and you need to call your On Time Electrical professionals at this point to investigate and address the situation. Walk around your home and use your eyes and nose to detect any electricity-related damage; frayed wiring, burnt outlets, smell of burnt plastic or other materials, smoke, etc. If you see or smell smoke or fire, call 911 immediately and evacuate everyone, and all pets, from the home.

Burnt outlets: If an outlet is burnt, that means it is sparking and could be close to catching on fire. This is a serious warning sign and needs to be brought to the attention of On Time Electrical experts immediately. Look at other outlets to see how many rooms may be impacted by the damage circuit.

Fallen power lines: If severe weather knocks a tree down onto lines near your home, or a power pole topples over on its own, you can be disconnected from the city power grid. Do not attempt to cut the tree or remove the debris from the power lines. The lines are still active and you can be electrocuted very easily. Call your local power company to report the downed power line and give them the information they need to dispatch a crew quickly.

Circuit breaker panel makes noise: Noise of any kind should be noted and investigated. If it’s humming, buzzing, or crackling that could mean the circuits inside are overloading. If circuits are being overloaded and not flipping off automatically, as they are designed to do, this could results in an electrical panel fire. Here, too, it’s critical you call On Time Electrical right away.

In the event of an actual fire: Dial 911 FIRST and let them know it’s an electrical emergency. If you can safely cut the power to your home by shutting off the main breaker, then do so. If the fire is centralized at the circuit breaker panel, then leave it to the fire department. If you have a fire extinguisher and can safely attempt to sweep the flames out, do so. NEVER attempt to douse an electrical fire with water, as water conducts the electricity and it can travel back to you with potentially deadly consequences.

On Time Electrical electricians are available 365 days a year, around the clock. We welcome your business, however, if you choose another electrician, please be sure they meet these same five criteria so you know you are getting the skilled, licensed, insured, and reputable response you deserve.

The 5 Key Things You Should Look for in an Emergency Electrician:

  1. Fast response and excellent customer service: When you call them, you should expect to speak to a knowledgeable person who can listen to your concerns, give you accurate answers and get your work order submitted to a technician immediately.
  2. Upfront, honest pricing estimate: You should be able to get an educated estimate on what the job will cost, with the caveat that there can always be additional charges based on what the emergency electrician finds once he or she “gets their hands in it.” If you ever get the runaround on a commitment to hourly rate or an estimate, move on. Ask if there is a separate trip fee related to the call out, or if that’s all considered in the hourly rate. On Time Electrical will always give you a complete, accurate bottom line estimate before any work begins.
  3. Has a license, insurance, and experience: The best emergency electricians arrive in a truck stocked with the most common tools and parts needed in residential repair so the job is done right…and right now. There shouldn’t be lost time running to the nearest electrical supplier for parts. When you book the job, ask who is coming to do the work so you know who to expect. Many emergency electricians will send a text or email with the technician’s name and picture ahead of their arrival. Please ask us for our credentials any time, it’s important to us that you’re confident and comfortable with the technician who will be coming to your home.
  4. Offers a warranty on the work: Ask about a warranty on the work to be done. Most reliable, professional emergency electricians guarantee their work for at least one year.
  5. Strong, positive customer reviews. Any emergency electrical service worth your time will have customer reviews online that you can view. You should also check their Better Business Bureau rating and reputable customer review sites such as Angie’s List, Yelp, and Home Advisor, to name a few. (You can also use popular social media outlets such as Facebook and NextDoor to ask trusted friends and neighbors who they’ve used for emergency electrical work.) At On Time Electrical, we’re very proud of our A+ Better Business Bureau rating and the countless positive customer reviews we receive. We know trusted referrals are important in helping you choose the best emergency electrician for your next repair or project.

On Time Electrical customer service is available 24/7 at (704) 820-4803. You can also visit us online anytime at Check out our weekly and monthly specials, plus we waive the service call fee on ANY repair! Locally owned and operated, we’re On Time Electrical. It’s electric!