Electrical fires are common causes of home fires. They can erupt from faulty wiring or damage to the wires. It’s a life-saving measure for homeowners to know how to safely extinguish an electrical fire. Here are ways to stop an electrical fire and keep occupants and the home safe.

What is an electrical fire?

An electrical fire is a fire that is caused by electricity. In the majority of fire events, the flames originate in the property’s cables, circuit breakers, or electrical wires. Sometimes appliances can be faulty, leading to an electrical fire that starts in their electrical components.

These types of fires can ignite when maintenance of the electrical wires and paneling is inadequate. Electricity and wiring should consistently meet safety codes—and when they don’t, fires can erupt. Old equipment and appliances are additional causes of electrical fires.

How is an electrical fire stopped?

How is an electrical fire stopped?

1. Prioritize Safety

Safety is paramount when an electrical fire occurs. This is the reason families are urged to plan an escape route well before a fire erupts. An escape route is necessary when a fire is out of control. Then call 911 to notify the officials that an electrical fire is suspected.

2. Turn Off the Electricity

If the electrical fire is small, the first step homeowners should take is to unplug the appliance or equipment causing the flames. If the fire spreads, disconnect the electricity from the home altogether. Unplugging the electricity is recommended as an initial step for a few reasons.

By removing the fire’s fuel—electricity—the flames cannot spread. Turning off the electricity also allows the fire to be extinguished with water, as it reduces the risk of electrocution; electricity is not conducted, making it safe for homeowners to extinguish the flames.

3. Do Not Use Water

However, if the electricity source cannot be turned off, never use water to attempt to put out the flames. Water naturally conducts electricity, making electrocution, a severe electrical shock, or injury a high risk. Water also helps the fire spread and ignites nearby flammable materials.

4. Use Baking Soda

Instead, smother a manageable fire with baking soda. This household staple is known as sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda blocks the oxygen that fuels the fire. However, baking soda is not recommended for putting out large fires or those involving complex electrical systems.

5. Use a Fire Blanket

A fire blanket is another option for smothering the flames. It works like baking soda in that it removes the oxygen source. If a fire blanket is not on hand, a heavy blanket or a thick piece of clothing can effectively substitute.

Proceed with caution when opting for a fire blanket or dense blanket. Using the wrong techniques to smother the flames can fan them and cause the fire to spread. To avoid fanning the fire, aim the blanket at the base of the flames.

6. Use a Class C Fire Extinguisher

A Class C fire extinguisher is intended for Class C fires, which include electrical fires. Similarly, ABC fire extinguishers, which extinguish different types of fires, can be utilized. Each fire extinguisher comes with instructions, so be familiar with them in advance to ensure it is properly used.

Prior to using the fire extinguisher on an electrical fire, make sure it is marked as Class C or ABC. If neither of these appear on the label, the extinguisher could potentially act as water and conduct electricity—this creates a serious electrocution hazard.

7. Call Fire Officials

A homeowner who faces an electrical fire and is unsure how to extinguish it should call the fire officials after evacuating the family. Firefighters are equipped with the tools and knowledge to safely and swiftly stop electrical fires. If possible, disconnect the electricity from the home before firefighters arrive.

While evacuating the property, take a few steps to protect the home. Close the door to the room in which the fire blazes to contain the flames. Close the house door for the same reason. Never re-enter the home until fire officials deem it is safe to do so.

How is an electrical fire prevented?

Knowing how to stop an electrical fire is crucial, but preventing one is even more so. Hire a licensed electrician to perform a home electrical safety inspection. A qualified professional ensures all electrical wires, connections, and outlets meet safety standards and pinpoints fire risks.

Avoid overloading the outlets, which can pose a fire hazard. Be vigilant for flickering lights, fuses that regularly blow, circuit breakers that often trip, and the sounds of electrical hums—these are all warning signs that indicate a possible electrical failure on the property.

Check the appliances for wear and tear, since old ones can be a fire hazard. If the appliances emit smoke or a burning smell, immediately call an electrician to diagnose the issue. The prompt services of an electrician are also necessary when the outlets show discoloration.

Call Top To Bottom Renovation 247 for professional fire damage repair

Stopping an electrical fire through any of the abovementioned tactics is a life-saving measure. After the fire, you’ll need a reputable fire damage restoration service to restore the home. Top to Bottom Renovation, Inc, is your one-stop resource for all fire damage cleanup services.

Once fire officials put out the fire with hoses, excess water remains in the building. Without prompt professional attention from Top to Bottom Renovation, mold begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours. Our mold removal services prevent further damage to your residential home or commercial property.

Our highly trained technicians detect all traces of hidden and visible mold inside the home using infrared technology. Upon containing the infestation to prevent cross-contamination, we remove the mold from all surfaces. We apply an anti-microbial to prevent the mold from returning.

Top to Bottom Renovation, Inc, is Bowie, Maryland’s most trusted fire damage and mold remediation company. We serve both residential homeowners and commercial property owners. Call us anytime 24/7 at 301-579-8215 and we’ll promptly dispatch a qualified crew to restore your home or business.