Electricity is an incredible aspect of modern living that’s easy to take for granted. Because it’s used so often with everything from appliances to charging laptops, it’s easy to play down the danger it poses when we can use items every day without worry. If you’re wondering how to put out an electrical fire, we answer that and how to prevent them, below.
How to Put Out an Electrical Fire: What to Do If You Witness an Electrical Fire Happen
We use electricity for a range of functions every single day, because of this, it’s important to know how to put out an electrical fire in case you encounter one. Although it seems scary, there are some relatively easy ways to put out an electrical fire.
If it’s an electrical appliance or tool that’s on fire and you can safely unplug it, do so. That will be one of the quickest ways to prevent the fire from getting worse. If it happens to be a small fire attempt to put it out by smothering it with baking soda.
Never use water to put out an electrical fire. Water is a natural conductor of electricity. This means that you can easily shock yourself if you use water to try and put out an electrical fire. Water can potentially make the fire worse as the element will turn the splashed area into an electrical hazard.
Before you use your fire extinguisher to put out an electrical fire, quickly check to see what kind of fire extinguisher you have. Electrical fires are considered a “Class C” fire which means you need either a C Class fire extinguisher or ABC Class fire extinguisher in order to distinguish it properly. Don’t use a fire extinguisher if it doesn’t have the Class C marking. The fluid inside can conduct electricity and create an electrocution hazard (much like using water).
On the other hand, if you notice a fire starting from your walls or a wall-mounted appliance, briskly make your way to your home or business’s electrical panel if it’s safe to do so. Shut off power to the area in flame to prevent the fire from spreading further.
How to Stay Safe if You Can’t Put Out an Electrical Fire
If you can’t stop the fire, or it’s growing rapidly, call 911 right away. It is important to let the operator know that it is an electrical fire so that the firefighters can prepare accordingly.
Close the doors to the room ablaze if you’re able to safely do so to prevent it from spreading further. Then, leave the building safely and make sure everyone inside gets out.
How to Prevent an Electrical Fire From Happening in the First Place
Electricians have a trained eye to quickly spot electrical problems in homes and businesses. Regular inspections can help identify issues before they result in fires or cause other hazards. Krueger Electric’s technicians have many years of experience and can help you spot electrical code violations.
You can help prevent fires yourself from installing lights with the correct wattage in fixtures, child tamper-proofing for outlets and other fixtures, watching for buzzing or flicking lights, turning off space heaters before going to bed and keeping them away from any easily combustible materials.
Electricity is an incredible invention that continues to provide us with amazing conveniences each day, but it’s also one we need to take its risks seriously to prevent fires or other issues from occurring.