How to Put Out an Electrical Fire

How to Put Out an Electrical Fire

Do you know how to put out an electrical fire? According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), “Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly than 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage.” Yikes! Given how many electronics we keep on our homes today, it is easy to understand why those numbers are high, but we don’t want you to become a victim of an electrical fire. 

Putting Out an Electrical Fire

Electrical fires can be scary because it can be challenging to find or access the fire source. If you do find the cause and are able to reach it, here is what you need to do!

If the device causing the fire is found, and you can safely reach the cord and outlet, unplug it. If the electrical panel is nearby, you will also want to turn off the power to the source completely. 

If the fire is small, you can use one of these three options to put out the flames:

  • Smother it with baking soda
  • Remove the oxygen source by covering it with a heavy blanket
  • Use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames

Please keep in mind that electrical fires are a class C fire. Before an electrical fire occurs, check that your fire extinguisher is compatible with a class C fire. If it is not, we highly suggest purchasing one and placing it in a convenient location in the house. 

Don’t Use Water

Water is a natural conductor for electricity, so DO NOT throw water onto an electrical fire. By throwing water on an electrical fire, you could get shocked or electrocuted, and it could cause the fire to spread further. The only time you can use water on an electrical fire is when you are absolutely positive that the power is off. If you are unsure, don’t use water. 

Get Out

If you are unable to extinguish an electrical fire yourself, you need to leave the area immediately. Here is what you should do:

  • Get yourself and your family out (do not play hero or try to grab items)
  • Close the door to contain the fire
  • Call 911 as soon as you are safely away
  • Wait for further instructions from firefighters

Get an Electrical Inspection

While knowing how to put out an electrical fire is essential to your home safety, you should also take preventative measures to lessen the chance of it actually happening. The ESFI recommends regularly getting a home electrical system inspection completed by qualified electricians to make sure that your home is safe. Do you know the last time you had an electrical inspection? We suggest getting an electrical inspection annually. Give us a call today for a quote, and we will schedule a time with you to make sure that your home is safe.

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