Knowing what to do in an emergency situation can save a life. Following are guidelines for electrical emergencies:
If the electricity goes out
- Reset circuit breakers to see if the problem is a short-circuit in your home's electrical system. If other homes in your neighborhood are dark, the problem is likely a power outage. Check the outage map for a list of known outages and estimated restoration times.
- Report a power outage online by logging into My Account or call (602) 236-8888. Be sure to enter your account number (located on the top left portion of your bill) so that we'll know where the power outage is.
- Turn off all lights and major appliances, including your computer, air conditioner, television, VCR and dishwasher. This will help SRP restore power more quickly while protecting your equipment from voltage fluctuations and circuit overloads when power returns. Surge protectors for your computer and electronic equipment provide extra protection.
- To prevent food spoilage, keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Depending on the length of the outage, some food may not be safe to eat. Check food safety charts before consuming anything to determine if any items should be discarded.
- When power returns, wait a few minutes before turning on lights and appliances (one at a time).
If someone touches a live electrical wire
If you see a person come into contact with indoor, low-voltage electricity, do not touch the person. Attempt to switch the power off, if possible. If you cannot shut off the power, use a non-conductor (dry wood, rope, board, broom handle) to separate the person from the current.
If the person has come into contact with high-voltage, outdoor wires, call 911 and then the power company immediately. Do not attempt to touch the person or to try to free the person from the wires. Stay at least 100 feet away from any downed wires at all times.
After the person has been separated from the electrical source, you should:
- Check his breathing and heartbeat. If the person is not breathing, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If the person's heart has stopped beating, start CPR if you're trained to do so.
- Treat the victim for shock. Keep him lying down. If the victim is unconscious, lie on his side to allow drainage of fluids. Cover him enough to maintain body heat.
- Do not move the victim if you suspect neck or spine injury.
- Treat burn by immersing in cold water. Do not apply grease or oil. For severe burns, cut away loose clothing and cover the burned area with a sterile dressing.
If the vehicle you're in comes into contact with a live electrical wire
If possible, remain in the vehicle until help arrives.
If you must leave your vehicle, avoid making contact with the vehicle and ground at the same time. Jump from the vehicle, landing with both feet together. Shuffle or hop away, keeping both feet in contact with each other until you are at least 100 feet from the vehicle. If you run, your legs may bridge current from areas of high and low voltage, resulting in electric shock.
If you have an electrical fire
Never use water on electrical fires, equipment or wires. Unplug equipment or cut power at the control panel if possible. If the fire is small, use baking soda or a multipurpose or dry chemical fire extinguisher. Call 911 as soon as possible.
If you smell gas in your home
Because natural gas is odorless, an odorant is added to natural gas so that you can recognize if it is leaking. Usually it has a rotten-egg-type smell.
If you smell a faint odor of gas, it could be that an appliance pilot needs relighting. If you have any doubt, or if the odor persists after relighting the pilot, open windows (from the top, too, if possible) and doors in the room and immediately call the gas company.
If the smell of gas in your home is very strong:
- Leave your home immediately.
- Do not operate any gas or electric appliances, or turn any light switches on or off.
- Do not light a match or candle or use the telephone.
- Call the gas company from a neighbor's phone or pay phone. The main number for Southwest Gas in metropolitan Phoenix is (877) 860-6020.
If your clothing catches fire
Do not run. Stop where you are, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands, and roll over and over to smother the flames. If someone else's clothes catch fire, push them to the ground and roll them over and over, or smother the flames with a blanket or carpet.