How to Put Out an Electrical Fire

outlet on fire

Every year In the United States, home electrical fires account for approximately 50,000 incidents, 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and well over $1 billion in property damage. The third leading cause of home fires is electrical systems. Would you know how to put out an electrical fire if one broke out at your home? Here’s some important information.


If you think the electric fire is spreading too quickly for you to intervene, get out of the house and call 911. If not, the first thing to do is turn off the power, if possible. This could involve carefully pulling the electrical cord of the problem device or appliance, or shutting down the power for the house. Take a good look at your electrical panel or fuse box so you will know how to do this.


One common and understandable response is to douse the fire with water. This is a mistake if your power is on. Since water is a natural conductor of electricity, adding water to an electrical fire can spread it around or lead to dangerous shock, even electrocution. If you’re sure the power is off, it should be safe to use water to douse the fire.


Fire extinguishers are commonly used for conventional fires, but if the fire is electrical, fire extinguisher retardant should be effective in putting it out. Make sure yours are in working order and properly positioned. If the fire is small, you may be able to smother it with baking soda or a fire blanket.


As exciting as it may be to extinguish an electrical fire, it’s better to avoid them altogether by keeping your house safe. One common electrical hazard is overloaded outlets and extension cords. Never exceed the recommended voltage.


If you have an older electrical system that causes brownouts or flickering, or if you occasionally detect a faint electrical fire smell, it’s time to call an electrician who can repair or replace it. Newer systems are not only safer, they’re also more efficient.


Another risk is electrical space heaters or air conditioners. These must always be kept away from combustible materials, and connected directly to a proper outlet, without the aid of an extension cord. And don’t leave them running excessively.


If any part of your home seems to pose a risk of electrical fire, call the experts at Hoover Electric. Established in 1980, Hoover Electric, Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling has been serving customers in Southeast Michigan ever since, offering courteous, professional service. Because we offer all the services you need for residential maintenance under one roof, we’re able to offer extremely competitive pricing while maintaining great customer service and guaranteed satisfaction. When you’re looking for top-quality electrical, plumbing, heating, or cooling services in Clinton Township, contact Hoover through our website or call 586-232-9204 today.

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