Electricity and other systems can be managed but are still potentially unpredictable. Under the right conditions, an electrical fire can ignite no matter the upgrades and the adequacy of your electrical system, though they can certainly reduce the risk. Being prepared to extinguish electrical flames can prevent injury and extensive property damage. Today, we at Burley Electrical Service, Inc would like to outline how to put out an electrical fire and share some preventive measures.
Safety First in an Electrical Fire
You need to put your safety first, especially if the electrical fire is growing rapidly and you are unable to cut the electricity off. Make certain that you call for backup right away by dialing 911 and let the dispatcher know you are experiencing an electrical fire. Before attempting to put out the flames, make certain there are two safe and clear pathways you can take. If either if these paths become obstructed in any way, or it is unsafe to approach, immediately evacuate. The risk of your life is simply not worth it.
Unplug Appliance / Disconnect Source of Electrical Fire
The electric source of the fire needs to be disconnected. For example, if it is an appliance that is the source, promptly unplug it. You can focus your efforts on that one source of fire instead of allowing the flames to spread, unplugging reduced that risk of the flames spreading. If the source cannot be unplugged, be sure to disconnect the electricity to your home. If you can safely reach the electrical panel, turn the power off. The source of the fire is cut off and you will not to be exposed to potential electrocution.
Put Out Small Electrical Fire with Baking Soda
Once you’ve unplugged the power source, presuming the fire started with appliance or overloaded cord, generously toss baking soda on the flames. Present in Class C fire extinguishers, baking soda contains the chemical compound sodium bicarbonate. If a small appliance like a toaster or crockpot bursts into flames, having an open box of baking soda in reaching distance can be a lifesaver.
What Happens when You Put Water on an Electrical Fire
You must resist your first impulse to use water to extinguish electrical fires, of any size, while the power is still active. If you toss water onto the flames, you risk severe electrocution as water conducts electricity.
Put Out Electrical Fires After the Power is Off
There are more options available to combat the flames once the electricity is disconnected. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, a fire blanket can also be useful to smother the flames. If the fire is small enough, the fire blankets stifle the oxygen a fire needs to burn and will put it out entirely. Water is an option if you do not have access to a fire blanket or extinguisher, or even baking soda, as long as you are confident the power is off. Douse the fire with as much water as possible until it is completely out using large buckets of water or the spray nozzle from the kitchen sink.
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Prevention is most ideal when dealing with electrical fires. Having annual electrical system inspections every year can help reduce the risk of an electrical fire. The licensed electrician can spot early signs of potential threats. With upgrades, replacements, and repairs, with the help of your electrician, you can significantly reduce the risk of an electrical fire. Call Burley Electrical Service, Inc today and let us inspect your home or business’s electrical system to ensure efficiency and safety.