Electricity is necessary for all, yet most of us don’t know how to respond to a spark or a short circuit leading to an electrical emergency!
If you regularly maintain your electrical appliances and home’s electrical system, there’s little chance of an electrical emergency. But anything like an overloaded circuit leading to electrical shocks or a low-scale electrical fire might put you and your family at risk. Hence, everyone needs to know what to do during such events.
So, we’ve discussed some standard emergency response procedures for emergencies to help you understand and develop an electrical emergency response plan for responding during a crisis.
Reason Behind Electrical Shocks
Before a detailed discussion regarding the steps and procedures for responding to commercial electrical emergencies, let’s discuss some of the reasons behind electric shocks. These include:
1. Damaged Chords
Faulty or damaged cords in your homes, like extension cords or others, should not be kept on your property under any circumstances. You must discard them immediately and replace them with new ones.
Any faulty or damaged wiring in your electrical appliances increases the risks of electrical shocks and electrical fires. So, call upon a professional agency to repair or replace them immediately.
3. Faulty Wiring
It is the primary reason behind most of the common electrical emergencies in Australia. Call our professionals immediately if you believe there may be faulty wiring in your commercial building.
If something terrible happens, like a fallen power line causing a power outage, the smartest move will be:
- Move away from the fallen power lines- at least 40 meters
- Call the emergency helpline
- Never touch any conductive material as it may house some electric current
- Don’t touch power lines, and keep others away from touching it
Always keep water far away from your electrical appliances to prevent the risk of shocks or short circuits.
You should always keep updated fire extinguishers and an emergency contact list of professional agencies. You can obtain it from any government website or agency in Australia.
1. Fire Extinguishers
Updated fire extinguishers are necessary for businesses, offices, and other commercial spaces. Similarly, factories and industrial sites should always stay prepared with an adequate fire extinguisher, depending on the size of the area. Use a fire extinguisher for any electrical fires.
2. Emergency Contact Numbers
Prepare a list of numbers you can contact in an electrical emergency and display it in a visible area like the fridge or kitchen counter.
These situations can be terrifying, so you shouldn’t panic but remain as calm and composed as possible. And always contact emergency services as soon as possible.
Likewise, suppose a person has been injured by electrical shocks or subsequent electrical fire; in that case, they might receive burns on the body, be unable to breathe correctly and be unconscious with a weak pulse. And here’s what you can do in such a situation:
Step 1: Don’t Touch The Person
Given that your friends, colleagues, or a family member have received an electrical shock, you’ll be intuited towards helping them by providing them first aid. But first, stop and think. Since the human body is an excellent electrical conductor, the charge residing within the body might just get passed onto you. Hence, you must be careful as electricity can be highly fatal.
Also, make sure that there is no water spilled on the site. Water is an excellent conductor that can pass electricity through it. So, I don’t move around until the main power is turned off, But if you have to, be careful to avoid any open wires or water spills.
Step 2: Call Emergency Services
Ideally, steps 2 and 3 require a third person to stay with the person who has been electrocuted. But if you don’t have additional help, call the emergency services as soon as possible.
Most victims of electric shock require immediate medical attention, so educate the crew about the incident. This will help them to come equipped with all the necessary aid and equipment.
Step 3: Turn Off the Power
Before you try to do anything, turn off the main power. It makes the site safe for moving around until the emergency crew arrives and prevents further damage.
If you cannot turn off the power safely (especially if the victim is stuck to the gridline), try to remove him using a broomstick or any other non-conductive items.
Step 4: Administer First Aid
Once the victim is brought to a safe space, it’s safe to approach them and administer proper first aid. Injuries from electric shocks can lead to burns, cardiac arrests and even death, so administer first aid accordingly.
For example, treat the burns with cold water and then cover them with dressings (if the individual is conscious and responding). And if they are not breathing, perform CPR until a team of professionals arrives on site.
Types of Commercial Electrical Emergencies
Whether you manage a commercial building or run a small business, it’s important to be aware of common electrical emergencies you may face in your facility. Power outages, overheating, short circuits, fires and lightning strikes are some of the most hazardous electrical issues that can arise and disrupt your operations.
A loss of power supply can occur due to storms knocking down power lines, equipment failures within your electrical systems, or other utility issues out of your control. Without electricity, you’ll have to halt work and activities, which can cost you time and money. That’s why having emergency backups and procedures in place is critical.
You also need to watch for signs that electrical equipment may be overheating or overloaded. This often develops from a lack of proper ventilation that allows heat to build up within devices over time. Left unattended, overheating components pose a serious risk of firestarting. Be sure to perform routine checks for heating problems.
Short circuits and electrical fires should also be top of mind, as the electrical arcing they produce can quickly ignite combustible surfaces. Faulty appliances or corroded wiring are typical causes here. Given how rapidly blazes can spread, early detection and response is your best defence.
Finally, don’t forget the dangers of lightning during storms. Strikes can lead to equipment damage or system failures through power surges. Be prepared with surge protection and know how to shut down sensitive devices when storms approach. By understanding these common electrical hazards, you can proactively maintain safety within your commercial setup. Working with licensed electricians is also key to addressing issues before they escalate into emergency situations. Staying informed is your first step to prevention.
Steps to Take in the Event of a Commercial Electrical Emergency
If you experience a commercial electrical emergency, it is essential to take the following steps:
- Evacuate the area immediately. If there is a fire or other danger, evacuate the area immediately. Do not attempt to put out the fire yourself.
- Call 000 (emergency services). Once you have evacuated the area, call 000 (emergency services).
- Stay away from the area until the emergency services have arrived and given the all-clear. Do not return to the area until the emergency services have given the all-clear.
If you are concerned about the safety of your commercial electrical system, it is essential to have it inspected by a qualified electrician regularly. This will help identify potential problems and prevent them from becoming serious emergencies.
Steps to Respond to Commercial Electrical Emergencies
Commercial electrical emergencies can be a major disruption to business operations and can even be dangerous. It is essential to be prepared for these emergencies and to know what steps to take to respond. This section will provide you with information on the different types of commercial electrical emergencies and the steps that should be taken to respond to every kind of emergency.
If you experience a power outage, you should check to see if it is a widespread outage or just affecting your business. You can do this by checking the power outage map on your utility company’s website or by calling them.
If the outage is widespread, there is not much you can do but wait for the power to come back on. However, if the outage is affecting your business, there are a few things you can do to minimise the impact:
- Turn off any non-essential appliances and electronics.
- Move food in the refrigerator or freezer to a cooler or ice chest.
- If you have a generator, you can use it to power essential appliances and electronics.
Once the power comes back on, you must check all your appliances and electronics to ensure they work correctly.
If an electrical appliance is overheating, you should first turn it off. Do not attempt to use the appliance until it has had a chance to cool down.
If the appliance continues to overheat, a qualified electrician must have it repaired or replaced.
A short circuit is a dangerous situation that can cause a fire. If you see or smell smoke or hear a loud noise from an electrical appliance, the first thing you should do is turn off the power to the appliance.
Do not attempt to touch the appliance or any exposed electrical wires. Once you have turned off the power, call a qualified electrician to repair the short circuit.
If you see a fire, the first thing you should do is evacuate the area. Do not attempt to put out the fire yourself.
Once you have evacuated the area, call 000 (emergency services).
If your business is in an area prone to lightning strikes, it is important to protect your electrical system. You can do this by installing a lightning arrester on your electrical panel.
If your business is struck by lightning, you should first turn off the power to the building. Do not attempt to use any electrical appliances or electronics until the power has been turned back on by a qualified electrician.
Correct Response Checklist For Commercial Electrical Emergency
Several Australians are killed or severely injured yearly on job sites or homes by getting electrocuted. Not only does it affect the victims and their families, but it also places severe consequences on the business itself.
In this regard, various safety training courses are running in the country, which engage people in real-life simulations and train them to deal with such situations effectively. So, consider enrolling yourself on one today.
If you require an emergency electrician in Sydney at any time or have questions about electrical safety, please contact the team at Bright Force Electrical. We offer a fast, 24/7 urgent response unit for commercial and residential electrical emergencies.
And that has brought us to the end of this guide. We will see you another day.
Till then, take care and bye!