When an electrical fire starts in your home or business, it can be a frightening and dangerous situation. Electrical fires are different than normal fires and require a different approach to extinguish. It is important to act quickly but safely to limit the damage as much as possible before professional help arrives.
To know what to do in an electrical fire, it’s important to understand how it may happen in the first place. Electrical fires can be caused by a variety of factors, from faulty electrical wiring to overloaded circuits. No matter the cause, it’s important to be aware of the risks and know what steps to take if an electrical fire does occur.
Let’s review some common causes of an electrical fire, how to extinguish a small electrical fire, and how to prevent one from happening in the first place.
Common Causes of an Electrical Fire
There are various reasons why an electrical fire may start. The main cause of an electrical fire is faulty wiring. Faulty or poor wiring might include faulty connections, outdated wiring, and an overloaded electrical circuit. If a building or home has outdated wiring or exposed wires that aren’t properly insulated, they can create sparks that ignite nearby materials such as insulation or wood.
Another common cause is overloaded circuits; when too many appliances are plugged into a single outlet, it can cause an overload that trips the circuit breaker and creates a spark. Overloaded power strips, improperly used extension cords, and faulty outlets or outlets with loose-fitting plugs can also be at risk for sparking and causing a fire.
Any of these factors can cause a fire. Do you know what to do in the event an electrical fire happens at your home or business? Your first thought is likely to douse the fire with water but beware – that can make things worse.
How to Extinguish an Electrical Fire
Electrical fires should never be extinguished using water. Water conducts electricity and could put you at risk for injury or electrocution. Instead, use either baking soda or a Class C fire extinguisher (marked with a “C”) designed specifically for fighting electrical fires.
Baking soda works by smothering the flames; simply pour it directly onto the affected area until the flames are completely out. If the fire is large, this method will not be as effective as using a Class C fire extinguisher.
It’s always advised to call 911 when a fire occurs at your home or business. The fire department has the right equipment to put out different types of fires, including electrical fires, safely and quickly. Your priority should be your safety and the safety of the people in your home or office.
How to Prevent Electrical Fires
The best way to avoid electrical fires starts with prevention. This means making sure your home or business is up-to-date on all safety inspections and repairs so that issues like faulty wiring or overloaded circuits don’t have time to build up and become dangerous.
Additionally, make sure your appliances are unplugged when not in use (especially during storms) and replace any frayed cords immediately with ones that have been approved by Underwriters Laboratory (UL). If you notice any signs of trouble—for example flickering lights or burning smells—make sure you call in a professional electrician right away before any further damage occurs.
Keeping your home safe from electrical fires requires vigilance—from regularly inspecting your electrical outlets and cords for signs of wear-and-tear to ensuring any necessary repairs get done promptly—but following these simple tips will help you avoid potentially dangerous situations down the line.
Fire Damage Restoration Services
At Reynolds Restoration Services, we understand first-hand how devastating a fire can be for a homeowner or business owner. Our team of trained emergency restoration professionals can help you get your life back to normal as quickly as possible after an electrical fire.
We know that disasters can be traumatic and disruptive. That’s why we work tirelessly to restore your property and belongings as quickly as possible so you can get back into your home or office. With teams ready to help you from three offices in the region – Harrisburg, PA, Philadelphia, PA, and the Baltimore, MD/DC Metro area, we can be on-site quickly. Our emergency services team is on-call 24 hours a day to respond and rebuild with care! Contact us at 1-888-277.8280 for immediate assistance.