Fighting an Electrical Fire
Not all fires are equal. They come from different sources, have different fuels, and each pack their own specific dangers. Unfortunately, while electrical fires are one of the most common dangers to homeowners, knowing how to fight an electrical is still not common knowledge. So today, let’s take a look at the best way to deal with an electrical fire.
Use the Right Extinguisher
Household fire extinguishers come in three different models: A, B, and C. Each extinguisher is designed to deal with a different type of fire so knowing which type is in your home – and where it is – is essential to preventing disaster.
- Class A extinguishers are used for general trash, wood, and paper fires
- Class B extinguishers are used for fighting chemical and grease fires
- Class C extinguishers are used for fighting electrical fires
Never throw water on an electrical fire. If any of the circuits are still live, the water will simply cause more damage and lead to a larger fire or risk of electrical shock. Class C extinguishers are designed to smother fires with non-conductive materials. If possible, have someone disconnect the circuit breaker while you’re using the extinguisher.
Remember that firefighters recommend you use the PASS method for fighting fires with an extinguisher:
- Pull the fire extinguisher’s safety pin
- Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire
- Squeeze the extinguisher’s handle
- Sweep the extinguisher’s nozzle in a side-to-side motion until the flames are out
Don’t Get in Over Your Head
Fighting a fire is never an easy task. If the fire is small, go for the extinguisher but if it has already spread then your best call is to leave the building and call for trained assistance. If you are going to fight the fire yourself, stay safe! Make sure you always have an avenue of escape in case the fire spread. Remember, your home can be replaced, but you can’t be. It’s always better to stay safe!
Prevention is Better Than Action
Know what’s better than fighting a fire? Preventing one. Prevention is always your first line of defense when it comes to electrical fires. Keep a watchful eye for warning and danger signs such as:
- Frayed Wiring
- Electrical Outlets and Switches that are Hot to the Touch
- Burning, Smoke, or Urine Smells from Outlets
- Damaged Cables or Cords
- Flickering Lights
- Loose or Wobbly Outlets and Switches
- Breakers and GFCI Outlets that Trip Repeatedly
If you spy any of these problems in your home, don’t wait, get them fixed immediately. Replacing an outlet or rewiring a circuit breaker is always cheaper than replacing a damaged home after an electrical fire. You should also consider getting a whole-home electrical safety inspection if it’s been at least 10 years since the last time your house was inspected.
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For more information on home and business electrical inspections, visit Mainstream Electric, Heating & Cooling online.