Electrical issues can be very worrying, especially when you consider that faulty electrics can lead to fire and electrocution. But how are you meant to ascertain what constitutes an emergency, especially when it’s out of hours?

When something goes wrong with your home’s electricity, it’s usually a good idea to bring in a professional electrician to help. Electricity is a potentially lethal problem when it’s not working as intended, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry in these situations. Whether it’s faulty wiring or a damaged electrical appliance, the risks of electrical fires and electrocution are very real, so it’s highly recommended that you bring in an expert to deal with your problem.

In general, we recommend that you call one of our 24/7 electricians if there is an obvious danger to life or the problem is making you uncomfortable in your own home. Still, you may be uncertain as to what this means.

To give you an idea of when it’s most appropriate to seek the help of an electrician, this article is going to look at some scenarios where you should call an emergency electrician in to help.

Fallen Power Cables

Perhaps obvious, but vitally important to flag up, are rare instances of fallen power cables, which are usually caused by extreme weather events. No matter how minor the damage may look, this is a very serious problem. The chance of an electrical fire breaking out is high, so do not approach the wires or attempt to touch them. Instead, ensure there are no people or animals near them, check for signs of a fire and call an emergency electrician right away.

Exposed Wires

Inside the home, exposed wires are an example of an emergency. As a general rule, you should always treat wires as if they are live and have electricity running through them. Therefore, don’t try to fix the problem yourself as you could end up getting shocked. Instead, call an emergency electrician who will be able to identify what has gone wrong and get the wires back into the wall or socket safely.

Sparking Outlets

Speaking of sockets, these are our way of getting electricity to our appliances, so they can be dangerous if there is a fault. Any sign of damage on them should be repaired, but if you can visibly see sparks, this indicates a significant fire risk that can easily spread. Immediately leave the premises and call 000, who will mitigate the risk in the first instance, and then call an emergency electrician.

Signs Of Burning

Obvious sparking isn’t the only cause for concern, though. Any black or brown marks around outlets can indicate that it has been overloaded. If you can’t see signs of fire but can smell them, such as the smell of smoke or burning plastic, this is another sign of an electrical fault. Again, call 000 if you can see smoke or fire on the property before an emergency electrician. Even if you are unsure, an emergency electrician should be called to avoid further damage to your electrical circuit, which could damage your appliances or cause a fire.


If your whole house seems to be suffering from an electric outage, an emergency electrician will be happy to come to your property to see if they can help you get back up and running in no time. This may be even more urgent in winter, especially if you have an electric heating system.

Sudden Loss Of Power

If your property experiences a sudden loss of power, it’s likely a problem that is best left for an emergency electrician to handle. In some cases, the sudden outage might be the result of a problem with your electricity provider. If this is the issue, then check neighbouring houses to see if they’ve lost power too. If they have, then it’s likely that.

However, if your house is the only one without power then it points to a problem with your property. These issues might be minor or severe, but the only way to know is to have a professional emergency electrician come out and take a look for you. Sometimes it’s just a safety breaker doing its job, but in other cases, it could be a faulty electrical wire with a live current. To ensure everyone in the home remains safe, call an emergency electrician to inspect the home and identify the cause of the power outage.

Wet Power Sockets

It’s no secret that water and electricity make a dangerous combination, so if you notice any dampness or wetness around power sockets, get it looked at by an emergency electrician. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, so if you get too close to the water or the electrical socket then you risk electrocution.

If you’ve sprung a leak behind a power outlet or socket, then that entire area is incredibly dangerous and it should be assessed by a professional electrician to mitigate any risks of electrocution.

An Unknown Burning Smell In The Home

If it smells like something’s burning in your home when there isn’t a known cause, there’s a chance that something is wrong with your electrical system. It might be the result of faulty wiring or an overheated electrical socket, but whatever the cause is it’s worth having a professional locate and identify the issue.

If you think you’re smelling burnt plastic, it might stem from some damaged or exposed electrical wiring in your home. If you leave this to fester, then it could result in an electrical fire which puts you and your property at risk. So don’t wait around for the worst to happen if you smell something burning – call in an emergency electrician to take a look for you.

Flickering Lights

You might not think that the occasional flickering light is an issue, but if it’s persistent it could be a sign that there are some serious electrical issues on your property. It could be a few different issues, including worn-out light fixtures, worn electrical wiring, loose fittings or a problem with your circuits.

Any of these problems run the risk of growing into a real emergency, so it’s smart to resolve the issue before it grows into something more serious. Having an emergency electrician perform an inspection will identify the issue and they can take the right steps to resolve the problem for you.

If you’d like to know more about the services that an emergency electrician can help with, or if you’re facing any of the problems listed above, contact our team at John McEwan Electrical today at 0447 321 930.