How to Deal With an Electrical Fire
Electrical fires are one of the most common types of house fire, and can prove quite devastating without proper fire protection. Hopefully you have done all that you can to prevent fires from taking place, but make sure you know what you need to do if one was to happen anyway. The following looks briefly at fire safety and what to do in the case of an electrical fire.
Shut off the power
If an electrical fire breaks out at your place, the first thing you need to do is shut off the power at the main switch, so make sure everyone in your home knows where it is and how to turn it off. Shutting the power will make the situation far less dangerous, so if you can, do it. If the fire is already large and is blocking your access to the main switch, just get everyone out of the house instead.
Never use water
Using water on an electrical fire can cause electrocution and even death, as the electricity charges the water and then electrocutes anyone it comes in contact with. Even though it may seem like it will help, never use water on an electrical fire, as you will be making the situation far more dangerous.
Use a chemical fire extinguisher
Chemical-based powder fire extinguishers are the best to use on electrical fires, because they essentially deprive the fire of oxygen, and therefore undermine and suppress it. If you have been able to shut off the power and the fire is only small, you can use your extinguisher to put out the flames. A small fire extinguisher can be invaluable and could mean stopping a small fire from destroying your entire home, so if you don’t have one, consider getting one — it just might save a life.
Call 000 and evacuate
If the fire has gotten too large for you to be able to safely handle yourself, call 000 and evacuate the house. Even just having shut off the power will be a great help to the firefighters, and they will be there as soon as possible to put out your fire for you. Once you have called 000, leave the house, and evacuate to a pre-planned safe assembly area, and don’t go back in; this is a common mistake that regularly leads to tragedy. Having safely made it out the first time, stay out until the fire has been safely put out.
Having power running all through our homes is fantastic until you have an electrical fire, when being surrounded by electricity is no longer a good thing. Being prepared to deal with an electrical fire will make it far less traumatic if one ever actually happens, so make sure you and those you live or work with know the right and wrong things to do in such situations. Taking quick and effective action can eliminate a major threat, not to mention potentially save a lot of lives.