When to Call an Emergency Electrician in the UK 

Electrical issues can quickly escalate if not addressed properly and immediately. This is when homeowners and businesses in London require the professional help of an emergency electrician. However, first, you need to be able to identify an electrical emergency. Next, you’d want to trust the right engineer for the job. Let us explore all these steps one by one in this comprehensive guide. 

What are the signs of an electrical emergency? 

Recognising electrical issues on time is crucial. Let’s take a look at the common signs. 

  1. Frequent circuit breaker trips 

Frequent circuit breaker trips are a clear sign of an electrical emergency. If your circuit breakers are constantly tripping, it indicates an underlying issue.  

This often occurs due to electrical overloads or faults in your electrical system. Overloads can happen when you have too many devices running on the same circuit. Faults, on the other hand, can be caused by issues such as short circuits or faulty wiring.  

Ignoring circuit breaker trips can lead to electrical fires or further damage to your electrical system. 

2. Burning odours or sparks 

The smell of burning plastic or visible sparks near electrical outlets or switches is a serious red flag. It suggests that there is a fault in the electrical system that can potentially lead to a fire.  

Burning odours often arise from overheated wires, melting insulation, or faulty connections. Sparks are a visible indication of an electrical problem. If not addressed promptly, they can cause significant damage or endanger the safety of occupants.  

It’s crucial to switch off the power supply to the affected area and call an emergency electrician immediately to investigate and resolve the issue. 

3. Flickering or dimming lights 

If your lights flicker or dim unexpectedly, it’s a sign of a severe electrical issue. This can result from loose or damaged wiring, overloaded circuits, or problems with the electrical supply.  

Flickering or dimming lights can not only be a nuisance but can also indicate that there is an electrical fault that needs professional attention.  

4. Buzzing or crackling sounds 

Unusual sounds coming from electrical outlets, switches, or fixtures are cause for concern. Buzzing or crackling noises can indicate that there is a fault within the electrical system.  

These sounds are a sign of electrical arcing, which can lead to sparking, overheating, and even fires. It’s essential not to dismiss such sounds, as they can worsen over time.  

Disconnect power to the affected area and contact an emergency electrician promptly to diagnose and address the problem. 

5. Hot or discoloured outlets  

Outlets that become excessively hot to the touch or show signs of discolouration can be dangerous. Overheated outlets are a common sign of electrical problems. These are caused by loose connections or overloaded circuits.  

These issues can pose a fire risk, as the heat generated can ignite surrounding materials. Discoloured outlets may indicate heat damage, and such damage is typically irreversible. Ignoring these signs of electrical emergency can lead to more extensive problems and jeopardise the safety of your property.  

6. Sudden power loss 

A complete loss of electrical power in your home or business site is a clear indication of an electrical emergency. This can result from various factors, such as a fault in the main electrical supply, damaged wiring, or an overloaded circuit.  

To address this emergency, you should first check whether the outage is isolated to your property or if it’s affecting the entire area. If it’s isolated to your property, it’s crucial to contact an emergency electrician who can resolve the issue to restore power safely. 

7. Exposed wires 

Exposed electrical wires are a direct safety hazard and should be treated as an immediate electrical emergency. Exposed wires can occur due to wear and tear, accidental damage, or subpar electrical work.  

When wires are exposed, the risk of electrical shocks and fires increases significantly. It’s essential not to touch or attempt to fix exposed wires on your own. Instead, turn off the power to the affected area and contact an emergency electrician without delay.  

3 steps to finding the right emergency electrician in the UK 

Any kind of electrical emergency calls for professional help. To know how you can find the right one for your property in London, follow the simple steps mentioned in this section. 

8. Research and recommendations 

Begin your search for the right emergency electrician by conducting thorough research and seeking recommendations.  

Start by reaching out to friends, family, or colleagues who may have had experiences with emergency electricians. Personal recommendations can provide valuable insights into the quality of service and reliability.  

Additionally, explore online reviews and testimonials from other customers to gauge an electrician’s reputation and professionalism. Pay attention to aspects such as response time, the ability to address emergencies promptly, and overall customer satisfaction.  

This initial research will help you create a shortlist of potential candidates. 

9. Verify credentials 

Once you have identified potential emergency electricians, the next step is to verify their credentials. It’s crucial to ensure that the electrician is qualified, licensed, and has the necessary certifications to perform electrical work safely and effectively.  

In the UK, look for professionals who are registered with recognised organisations like NAPIT (National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers) or other industry-recognised bodies.  

Certification indicates that the electrician has undergone training and adheres to safety standards and best practices. Don’t hesitate to request proof of these credentials to validate their qualifications. 

3. Choose your emergency electrician 

During an electrical emergency, time is of the essence. Check if the electrician offers 24/7 emergency electrical services. Learn if they’re readily available to address urgent situations, including power outages, exposed wires, or sparking outlets. Enquire about their average response time and availability on weekends and holidays.  

Additionally, evaluate the range of services they offer. These may include fuse board installation and replacement, electric boiler installation and repairs, and other specialised services that may be relevant to your specific emergency needs.  

Pro tip: You’ll not want to worry about a call-out charge or an ongoing contract in situations like this. It is advisable to opt for a professional electrical services company that offers a hassle-free service. 

5 benefits of professional and experienced electricians 

The question remains: Why professional electrical service? There are some key benefits to seeking professional help in times of electrical emergency on your property. We’ll take a look at them. 

1. They prioritise safety 

Professional electricians prioritise safety, addressing issues that can pose hazards. Moreover, they ensure that electrical work complies with regulations. Their in-depth knowledge helps with reducing the risk of electrical accidents and fires. 

Experienced electricians can diagnose problems quickly, reducing downtime and ensuring your home or business remains functional. With proper certification and registration in place, you can trust them to work safely and efficiently. 

Professionals deliver high-quality work that is both effective and long-lasting. Their work is based on industry standards and best practices, minimising the need for frequent repairs.  

Quality workmanship ensures that your electrical systems perform optimally and reliably. 

Many reputable electricians offer warranties or guarantees on their work. This provides you with peace of mind. You will know that if any issues arise post-service, they will be addressed without additional cost. 

Professional electricians are well-versed in electrical regulations and ensure that all work meets industry standards. They follow safety guidelines and ensure that electrical systems are compliant with local and national regulations. If nothing, this gives you peace of mind with your electrical work. 


People often ignore electric issues like dimming lights, exposed wires, hot outlets, etc. They think these will never lead to an emergency. But they are utterly wrong. We hope this blog helped you get insights into some of the common electrical emergencies in the UK. Keep it handy for finding an expert electrician for your issues. And remember, professional expertise is key to safe and efficient repairs. 


Maintracts Services is a professional electrical, heating, plumbing, and drainage services company in London. The team comprises experienced engineers who are available 24/7 to address your electrical emergencies without any call-out charges or the need for an ongoing contract.