The Best Ways To Put Out An Electrical Fire

Whether due to faulty wiring, damage, or degradation over time, electrical fires are more common than you may think. Knowing how to put out an electrical fire is crucial for anyone who deals with electronics or electrical devices. While typical fires can be hazardous to individuals and destroy properties, electric fires can carry even more risk in many circumstances. So should an electrical fire occur, what are the best ways to put out the fire quickly and effectively? Taking the time to educate yourself on how to put out an electrical fire can save lives and prevent significant damage.

Here are some of the steps you should follow to safely and quickly put out an electrical fire before it becomes life-threatening:

Unplug or Power off Electricity Where Possible

Whether residential, commercial, or industrial, the first step to managing an electrical fire is to turn off the electricity whenever possible. If an appliance or machine is the source of a small fire, and you can unplug it immediately, this should be carried out as quickly as possible. If the fire has spread, disconnecting electricity from the area or property altogether is recommended.

Why disconnect electricity before anything else? Because this removes the source of the fire, and also reduces the secondary risk of electrocution. If you’re able to fill the power, you can then use water to put out the fire, as no electricity can be conducted. However, in any other case where removal of power isn’t possible, any of the following methods are recommended:

Smother With Baking Soda

For small household electrical fires, baking soda is the best way to quickly and easily smother the flames. Baking soda works to block oxygen, which means the fire is not being fed. If you’re unable to turn off the power before using this method, ensure you don’t touch the appliance or machine in the process of putting out the fire.

It’s also worth noting that baking soda should not be used in place of a fire extinguisher, especially for larger fires or those involving more complex electrical systems. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher rated for electrical fires on hand in case of emergencies. Regular maintenance and inspections of electrical systems and devices can also help prevent electrical fires from occurring in the first place.

how to put out an electrical fire

Use a Fire Blanket or Heavy Item of Clothing to Put Out Small Fires

Fire blankets are suited for small fires, but if one is not on hand, a dense blanket or item of clothing will work. These also smother the flames, but it’s essential to be precise when using any materials – the wrong move could fan flames, making the problem worse.

It’s essential to practice caution when using any materials to smother a fire. If the wrong materials are used, or the technique is incorrect, it can result in the fire spreading and becoming more dangerous. It’s important to aim any material directly at the base of the flames and to avoid fanning them.

Spray the Source of Fire With a Class C Fire Extinguisher

Electrical fires are defined as class C fires, which means that a class C fire extinguisher is the suitable choice to use in the event a fire occurs. Instructions for a specific extinguisher will be on the canister, so it’s important to read these carefully before starting. Different types of fire extinguishers have specific guidelines, and it’s important to be familiar with these instructions before using them.

ABC fire extinguishers are also suitable for use in electrical fires, as they can handle different types of fires, including those involving combustible materials such as wood, paper, and textiles.

It’s also essential to ensure that the fire extinguisher is regularly maintained and inspected. This involves checking the pressure gauge and ensuring that the pin and tamper seal are intact. It’s important to replace or recharge the fire extinguisher when necessary to ensure it’s fully functional in case of an emergency.

If in Doubt, Call for Emergency Support

If you’re unable to or don’t feel that you can safely put out an electrical fire, the first thing to do is call for emergency support. Firefighters are equipped with the skills and equipment to swiftly and safely put out fires. If possible, disconnect the electricity before they arrive if it is safe to do so. If not, evacuate the area immediately.

Depending on the circumstances, the best way to deal with an electrical fire can vary from situation to situation. If in doubt, the best thing to do is call the professionals – but if you feel you can handle it yourself, any of the above methods are suitable if carried out according to instructions. Above all, stay safe and remove the power source first in all instances, if at all possible.

Prevent Electrical Fires Before They Start

Electrical fires can be devastating, causing significant damage and posing a significant risk to the safety of people and property. However, there are steps you can take to prevent electrical fires before they start.

Regular Maintenance of Electrical Equipment and Appliances

One of the most important steps in preventing electrical fires is to ensure that all electrical equipment and appliances are in good working condition. Electrical appliances, such as fridges, ovens, and microwaves, can develop faults over time, which can increase the risk of an electrical fire. Regular inspection and maintenance of these appliances can help detect potential faults and address them before they cause a problem.

It’s also crucial to ensure that electrical appliances and devices are used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Overloading power points and extension cords can cause them to overheat and start a fire. It’s essential to use power points and extension cords correctly, avoiding the use of damaged cords or plugs.

Ensure Your Home’s Electrical Systems Comply With Safety Standards

Another important step in preventing electrical fires is to ensure that your home’s electrical system is up to date and complies with safety standards. This may involve having a licensed electrician inspect your wiring, circuit breakers, and other electrical components to ensure they are in good working condition.

It’s also a good idea to install smoke detectors throughout your home, especially in areas where electrical appliances are in use. Smoke detectors can provide an early warning in case of a fire and give you and your family time to evacuate safely.

Knowing How to Put Out an Electrical Fire Can Save Lives and Prevent Significant Damage

In conclusion, understanding how to put out an electrical fire is a critical skill that can prevent devastating consequences and potentially save lives. Water should never be used to put out an electrical fire, and instead, a fire extinguisher rated for electrical fires or baking soda should be used to smother the flames. It’s also essential to turn off the power source and avoid touching the appliance or machine to prevent electric shock. Taking the time to educate yourself on how to put out an electrical fire can help you react quickly and appropriately in case of an emergency. Remember, prevention is key, and conducting regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent electrical fires from occurring in the first place.