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Home Safety Tips: Electrical Emergency

Whether it's a power failure throughout the entire neighborhood or simply a malfunction in an electrical appliance, at some time you may have to cope with an electrical emergency. It's important to be familiar with the information below before the emergency strikes.

You should know how to turn off the house's electrical power during an emergency, as well as when you need to make electrical repairs. NEVER WORK ON ANY LIVE CIRCUIT OR ANY LIVE OR WET FIXTURE, APPLIANCE, RECEPTACLE, OR SWITCH. Shut off the power first and test the circuit carefully with a circuit tester to be sure it's not live.

You can shut off the power to your entire electrical system at the main disconnect; it's almost always located at the service entrance panel. This panel may be located on the exterior of your home - near the electricity meter - or on an inside wall directly behind the electricity meter.

Be sure everyone in your family knows where the service entrance panel is and how to shut off the power. You should also know how to turn the power back on, once it's safe to do so.

It's smart to keep on hand a supply of the proper-size fuses (if your system is equipped for them) so you can replace any that have blown. Also have flashlights with extra batteries as well as candles and matches handy in case of power failures. If you have questions or concerns about the wiring in your home, call an electrician.

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