Any fire at home is dangerous and scary, especially if you or your family is at home. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that there are different types of fires depending on what caused them, electrical fires being one of them.
Therefore, knowing how to put out an electrical fire to keep your family safe and minimize damage to your home is crucial. The following tips and information will highlight the importance of using a licensed electrician for your electrical work and preventing electrical fires.
What Causes Electrical Fires
Electrical fires originate from faulty wiring, circuits, cables, or the electrical components of appliances. They can stem from improper electrical wiring installation or old, worn-out electrical sockets. These fires can also occur from dated appliances or overloading an electrical outlet.
Electrical fires are common, most frequently in the winter, with higher use of electrical heaters. They cause billions of dollars in damages and take hundreds of lives yearly, making electrical fire prevention critical.
How to Identify an Electrical Fire
An impending electrical fire comes with some warning signs. While some people may contribute flickering or dimming lights and blown breakers to ghostly visitors, it is most likely indicating that you have an electrical issue. Persistent burning smells indicate something is hotter than it should be and could lead to a fire. Discoloured or charred outlets and switches are another sign of a problem with the wiring.
Electricity transfers an electrical current along a wire, and when it gets hot enough, it creates sparks that can ignite combustible materials. They can smoulder longer and travel within the walls undetected to create more damage, making them highly dangerous. Smoke detectors can identify electrical fires before you can, so replace batteries regularly and test your detectors to ensure they are working correctly.
Step-by-Step Guide To Putting Out an Electrical Fire
If the electrical fire is small or just starting, there are some steps you can take to prevent it from growing.
- Unplug the appliance or turn off the power source
- Smother the fire with baking soda or a heavy fire blanket
- Spray the fire with a Class C fire extinguisher
NEVER use water on an electrical fire as it will conduct the current and could electrocute anyone nearby. Worse, it can spread and grow the electrical fire.
What to Do if You Are Unable to Extinguish It
When you sense a fire, you need to alert anyone in the home to the danger and get them out of the house. If you cannot extinguish the small fire, you must ensure everyone’s safety and call 911 for the authorities to handle it.
How to Prevent Electrical Fires From Starting
An ounce of prevention is worth its weight in gold when avoiding house fires. Using electrical devices properly helps to prevent electrical fires, and include the following tips:
- Plug-in devices snuggly into the outlet
- Use power bars and surge protectors sparingly
- Limit space heater use
- Avoid running electrical cords under the carpet
- Don’t overload outlets
- Use extension cords temporarily
- Unplug unused appliances
- Replace older appliances
- Keep flammable items away from electrical cords and outlets
- Don’t ignore the warning signs of an electrical fire
- Use a licensed electrician for all your electrical work
Enlist a Professionally Licensed Electrician
Nothing is more precious than your family’s well-being, and keeping what you hold dear safe and sound is worth any maintenance or repair you must do.
For professional electrical preventative maintenance, repair, and installation services, trust none other than the team at Lumos Electric Inc. in Ottawa, ON. Their licensed electricians have the knowledge and skills to troubleshoot and tackle your electrical needs, helping protect your home and family from electrical fires.
Don’t risk an electrical fire sneaking up on you! Schedule your electrical inspection online or by calling Lumos at 613-355-9793 today!