Published 06/11 2014 05:35PM

Updated 06/11 2014 05:35PM

Two of the most common electrical emergencies are fires caused by overheated wiring, and electrical shock. A wire that's exposed or forced to carry more current than it can handle becomes a hazard: without protection from a fuse or circuit breaker, current continues to flow, generating heat, and starting a fire. If you suspect this is happening, turn off the main breaker immediately. If the fire cannot be controlled, get out, and call 9-1-1. Another major emergency is electrocution. When encountering a shock victim, your first impulse may be to pull them away from the source: don't! You must never touch a victim with your bare hands, if they're still part of the live circuit. Try to disconnect the power first; if that's not possible, use an insulated object like a broom or coat to move them away. Then, keep them warm while you call 9-1-1. Another hazard you should avoid is fallen power lines: these lines carry several thousand volts, and can easily be fatal. For more information on electrical emergencies, contact your local utility company.

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