By Warren Lentz - October 27, 2023
Electrical fires are very common, especially in the winter months. Although heaters are one of the most common causes of electrical fires, they can also be caused by old cords, loose cords, overloaded outlets, ungrounded plugs, and defective appliances.
When an electrical fire breaks out in front of you, your first thought is to panic. Be sure to stay calm. The first step is to call emergency services. If the fire is already too large, evacuate safely.
If there is a small electrical fire, DO NOT use water. This may seem obvious, but adding water to electrical fires can make them worse. There is also a common misconception that flour can put out an electrical fire. That is not true. Flour can also make the fire grow.
If the fire is small and you have access to the power source or outlet, unplug immediately! This may not put out the fire, but it should be the first step before moving on to the next methods.
It's important, so listen! Not all fire extinguishers can be used on electrical fires! To smother the flames of an electrical fire, only Class C or ABC appliances should be used. Now is a good time to take a look at the fire extinguisher you have at home and see if it is safe to use against electrical fires before you panic and try to put one out.
Throwing baking soda on the fire can help put out the flames. People often try to replace baking powder with flour. Flour can make things worse. Observe!
A thick blanket over a small fire can help smother the flames. However, this only applies if the fire is very small and can be contained under the ceiling. So be careful.
Please call emergency services before attempting these methods, even if you put out the fire before they arrive. It is important to know when lights, cables or sockets are broken. Also, make sure you are present when your heater is plugged in and make sure there is nothing nearby that could prevent a fire.
If you notice your outlets are hot to the touch or your wiring is faulty, call McBride Lighting & Electrical at (303) 647-9221 or schedule an appointment online to have one of our experienced electricians get a quote as quickly as possible!