How to put out an Electrical Fire
Electrical fires are extremely common, especially in the winter months. Although space heaters are one of the most common causes of electrical fires, they can also be caused by old wiring, loose wiring, overloaded outlets, ungrounded plugs, and faulty appliances.
If an electrical fire starts in front of you, the first thought is to panic. Make sure you stay calm. The first step is to call emergency services. If the fire is already too big, evacuate safely.
If there is a small electrical fire, whatever you do DO NOT use water. This may seem obvious, but adding water to electrical fires can make it even bigger. There is also a common misconception that flour can put out an electrical fire. This is not true. Flour can also make the fire grow.
Turn off and Unplug
If this is a small fire and you can get to the power source or outlet, unplug it immediately! This may not put the fire out, but it should be the first step, before moving on to the following methods.
This is important so, listen up! Not all fire extinguishers can be used on electrical fires! Only those labeled as Class C or ABC can be used to smother the flames of an electrical fire. This is a good time to take a look at the fire extinguisher you have in your home and see if it is safe to use on electrical fires before you are in a panicked state trying to put one out.
Throwing baking soda on the source of the fire can help smother the flames. People often try to substitute flour for baking soda. Flour can make it worse. Take note!
A heavy blanket over a small fire can help smother the flames. This is only if the fire is very small and can be contained under the blanket, so be careful.
Please, call emergency services before you try these methods, even if you get the fire out before they arrive. It is important to know when you may have faulty lights, wires, or outlets. Take a look at this blog to learn more about what to look for so you can prevent electrical fires in your home. Also, make sure you are present when your space heater is plugged in and make sure there is nothing near it to avoid catching flames.
If you notice that your outlets are warm to the touch or you may have faulty wiring, call B&W at 317-243-3581 or schedule online to have one of our expert electricianscome out for a quote as soon as possible!