Not all house fires are created equally, and electrical fires are a special breed. Here is a list of tips for safely dealing with an electrical fire, should one occur in your home:
- Never use water. Adding water to an electrical fire can cause it to spread, and create an electrocution hazard for you or anyone nearby.
- Start by safely unplugging the device causing the fire. This can help reduce the risk of the fire spreading any further. Always keep safety top of mind at all times. If you cannot reach the cord and unplug it safely, then focus on putting the fire out.
- In cases when you can’t reach the cord, look for other ways to cut power to the source of the fire. If there is a switch nearby, make sure it is turned off. If it is possible to access the electrical panel sourcing the area, shut the power off there. Again, safety is key, so if you cannot safely cut the power to the source of the fire, don’t risk it.
- If the fire you are dealing with is small, use a fire extinguisher to put it out. The easiest and safest way to handle any fire is by using a class C or ABC fire extinguisher. Most home fire extinguishers are class ABC and are effective at putting out electrical fires. Be sure your extinguisher(s) are charged and regularly checked or replaced.
- Consider other methods for putting out small electrical fires. A fire cannot live without oxygen. Smother it by using baking soda or a heavy blanket. If you were able to completely shut the power off to the source or area of the fire, you may be able to use a heavy blanket to smother the fire.
When in doubt, call in the professionals. Trained firefighters are your best defense against an electrical fire.
Do you have questions about electrical fire safety? Call the professionals at AJ’s Electrical.