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Serving the Buffalo Area since 1995

Scherer Electric Blog

Electrical Emergencies in Your Home and What to Do About Them

You know electricity can be dangerous since you’ve almost certainly sustained at least a small electric shock before (aside from static electricity). But since you deal with electricity every day in your home, your work, most leisure activities, almost everywhere, you don’t think often about electrical dangers.

For your safety, you need to know about the electrical dangers that can occur in your home and what to do to prevent harm to your family and property. Please don’t attempt to handle any of these problems on your own: call our electricians in Amherst, NY so any electrical issues are fixed and fixed safely.

The electrical fire

This is the biggest concern with a home electrical system. If circuits are overloaded, wires fray or lose insulation, or outlets short circuit, it will rapidly create a fire. Do not try to put out the fire with water! If you can access the breaker box, shut off the entire electrical system (make sure you and your family know how to do this). Use the household fire extinguisher (another thing everyone should know where to find and use) to put out the fire. If you can’t stop the fire, call the fire department. Once the fire is out and under control, call our electricians to look over the wires and make repairs. Do not turn the power back on until they’ve given you the all-clear.

An appliance is on fire (or at least smoking)

This is one of the reasons you have smoke detectors in your home. If any appliance, from a microwave to a vacuum cleaner, overheats to the point it starts to smoke or even catch flames, unplug it right away. If you think touching the outlet is risky, cut the power at the breaker. Don’t use the appliance again. Call for an electrician to see if there’s wiring damage. We strongly recommend installing GFCI outlets, which will automatically shut off the power in these situations.

The overloaded extension cord

We’re not big fans of the extension cord, which is why we advise homeowners to investigate installing more outlets rather than trying to extend electrical reach with these long tripping hazards. Not only are extension cords obstructions in homes, but they can also easily overheat and trigger a fire, or lose insulation and cause a fire. Unplug an electrical cord if you see smoke or fire—especially occurring on a rug covering the cord.


Flooding in a house usually occurs because of plumbing issues in the bathroom or kitchen—and both areas have a high concentration of electrical appliances. Water and electricity are a terrible mix, and no matter where the flooding is occurring, you have a potential electrical emergency on your hands. Shut off the water main, then shut off the electrical power. However, be careful if you have water on your hands or there’s water on the breaker box. If this is the case, put on rubber gloves and only touch the plastic breaker switch, not any metal part around it.

Exercise caution, know how to shut off the power safely, and keep our number handy—this will help protect you from home electrical emergencies.

Scherer Electric is Western New York’s Favorite Electrician! We’re here 24/7 when you have an electrical emergency in your home.

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