Regardless of how much you prepare for an electrical fire, accidents still happen. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), more than 50,000 electrical fires occur in U.S. homes a year. Electrical fires are caused by damaged outlets, broken appliances, overheating stoves, and even outdated electrical systems. Although the professionals at The Happy Outlet emphasize taking preventative measures to avoid electrical fires, households must also be prepared in the event that one occurs in the home.
An electrical fire can extremely dangerous, but by staying calm and acting accordingly, you’ll be able to keep your family safe and possibly save your home. Whether it’s a small, contained fire from an appliance or electronic – or one that has started from an electrical system, it is imperative that you act quickly. The experts at The Happy Outlet are dedicated to the safety of Carson City homeowners and have compiled some essential steps for dealing with electrical fires.
Safely Extinguish the Fire
- If the fire is small and contained (from an appliance) you can extinguish it by smothering it with baking soda.
- Larger fires require the use of a fire extinguisher, but only use type C fire extinguishers, as they are designed to handle fires specifically from electrical equipment.
- Do not attempt to put out a fire with water, as this will conduct the electricity and cause severe damage or injury.
Shut Off the Electrical Flow
- If a fire has started from an electrical appliance, quickly cutting off the power from the source (the circuit breaker box) is an important step.
- Safely unplug the appliance that has caused the fire (after cutting off the power), this will ensure there are no surges after the power is returned.
- An electrical fire that has started from your electrical system can sometimes go undetected until it’s too late. However, if you notice smoke or burn marks coming from an outlet or light switch, you will also want to cut off the power from the source.
Quickly Evacuate Your Home
- If you are unable to extinguish the flame, you and your family must leave your home immediately.
- Find the nearest door or window that has the shortest path to the outside.
- Do not attempt to take any belongings with you, as electrical fires can grow rapidly.
- Do not reenter your home for any reason until deemed safe.
- Even if you managed to extinguish the flame, leave your home to avoid inhaling the smoke and gas.
Call the Police Immediately
- Police must be notified for any electrical emergency, meaning you must call them as soon as possible.
- Stay at a safe distance from your home and wait for firefighters to arrive at the scene.
- Do not reenter your home under any circumstance, unless a firefighter has deemed it safe.
By following these steps during an electrical fire, you’ll be able to keep your family safe. Be sure to take preparative methods as well; plan an escape route, keep objects away from doors and windows, and have a type C fire extinguisher in your home. The professionals at The Happy Outlet are well equipped to further protect your home from an electrical fire, as our electrical safety services can help you maintain both efficiency and safety in your Carson City home. Give us a call at 775-841-9473 to schedule an electrical safety inspection today!