Dwelling fires can be caused by a variety of things, from loose cigarette ends to fraying threads, potential hazards are everywhere, and you need to be aware of them to stay fire safe. Among the most destructive are electrical fires, which are usually the result of overloaded extensions, faulty sockets, and/or malfunctioning appliances. Despite the danger, you can deal with small electrical fires yourself, providing you know what to do and are properly equipped. For that reason, we at Firescape, have crafted this blog detailing how to put out an electrical fire.
Power On or Off?
Before you attempt to tackle the blaze, you need to make sure that any affected appliances are turned off if possible. Now, electrical fires tend to start when a device has been overloaded or, in technical terms when too much electricity is flowing through the sockets. Taking steps to ensure you never suffer an overload can go a long way to preventing an actual fire. To start with, be mindful of your extensions as, even though you can fit multiple plugs in, it doesn’t mean you should. First, check the lead’s rating to see what it can handle; most stand at 13 A, but some may be lower than 10 A. So, if it doesn’t say on the device itself, check the user manual. If your plugs go over this limit, then you are in danger of overloading the extension. Similarly, don’t ever plug-in multiple extensions, it isn’t a ‘life hack’, it’s just an easy way to start a fire.
The minute you see one of your devices on fire, you should immediately unplug it from the mains, if you can safely do so. For example, if your toaster is on the fritz and ignition occurs, look towards the socket or extension it is plugged into to see if it’s safe to remove. If you can turn off the power, do so, as this will help stop the flames spread further. If you can’t safely switch the specific device off, or if the fire originates from something installed directly into the wall, then you should turn the mains off. If the fire is contained to a specific area, then getting to the electrical panel should be easy, and switching it off can aide you with extinguishing. If it is blocked by fire or any other hazards, don’t risk it, as this is more dangerous than attempting to extinguish a fire on a powered device.
If you must deal with the fire while it is powered on, never use water to deal with it. This is because the water is conductive and using it will add the risk of electrocution as well as the fire hazard. If you’re not sure whether the appliance is live or not, it’s best to be cautious and assume it is. However, there is a household item that can go a long way in helping to smother an electrical fire. Covering the affected device in baking soda will block the oxygen flow, thus preventing further burning. When using extinguishers, specific ones are needed if there is live electricity, as some may contain liquids that could conduct it. If the power is off, though, any can be used, and you can also utilise a fire blanket or something similar to cover the blaze. This will have the same effect as the baking soda; limiting the oxygen so the burning stops.
Upgrade Your Fire Safety Equipment
As we’ve mentioned, small electrical fires can be handled by yourself. However, you need to make sure you are using the right equipment before you attempt to do so. For this task, Firescape has the perfect solution, with our cutting edge fire safety product Spray-Safe. It’s a 335ml aerosol extinguisher, lightweight and compact, it fits in most kitchen draws and cabinets. The product has also been tested by industry experts, as well as approved by the London Fire Brigade Enterprises, and is a proven, effective way to tackle unexpected fires in your home. Spray-Safe uses Firescape’s patented, eco-friendly formula, so there is no toxic residue and it’s immensely easy to clean up. If you want to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, take your home fire safety extinguisher to the next level with Firescape.