This means that you can easily shock yourself if you use water to try and put out an electrical fire. Water conducts electricity, so in the event that you throw water onto the flames, you are in danger of being severely burned. Don’t put out fires with water In spite of the fact that it might be your first thought, never use water on any electrical fire if your electricity is still on. That's right: baking soda, just like the kind you use in the kitchen. Small electrical fires can be put out by depriving them of their oxygen source. Lexipol. Engel joined Lexipol in 2015 and has since reported on issues related to public safety. You can do this by putting clothing or a heavy blanket on it if it’s safe. Small electrical fires can be put out with baking soda. Baking Soda for a Small Electrical Fire If a small and contained fire breaks out – for example, if an extension cord begins to smolder -- you could successfully douse it with baking soda. FireRescue1 is revolutionizing the way the fire service community Video: Dashcam captures close call at Pa. crash scene, Photos: 4 Colo. FFs hospitalized after engine tumbles down hillside, Video: 5 FDNY firefighters injured when engine crashes into Brooklyn store, Speeding car goes airborne, crashes into roof of Fla. fire station, Individual Access - Free COVID-19 Courses, one-third of all home structure fires stem, Open the tools menu in your browser. By using our site, you agree to our. If an electrical fire starts 1. These fires start most often in bedrooms and attics, and the most common ignitable material that starts the fire is the wire insulation itself, although framing members, wall insulati… Sixty-five percent of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors. Keeping a readily available baking soda could save you. If you think you can fight the fire safely, begin by disconnecting the electricity, if possible, and smothering the flames. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. This includes flickering lights, buzzing sounds from the electrical system, and circuit breakers that often trip or fuses that frequently blow. Contact an electrician if you smell anything burning or see smoke coming from an appliance, cord or the plug, or if you see an outlet that is discolored. Copyright © 2020 Enter “https://www.firerescue1.com/” and click OK. GET OUT. The Fire Equipment Manufacturer's Association recommended using a water or foam fire extinguisher on Class A fires. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Oxygen, on the other hand, is what the fire needs to burn. It's the most comprehensive and trusted online destination for fire service professionals worldwide. Cut off the electricity. How to Put Out an Electrical Fire Once the Power Is Off Once you’ve disconnected the electricity in your house, you have more options to fight the flames. They can also identify if the home would benefit from AFCI protection. If you cannot get to a location to shut off the power safely, don't attempt it. Other types of extinguishers could create an electrocution hazard if used on an electrical fire because they contain liquids or chemicals that conduct electricity. You can also use water to douse the fire, as it can remove the fire's heat supply. Rachel Engel is the associate editor of FireRescue1.com and EMS1.com. For instance, if there is a short in your toaster, it can produce enough heat to start a fire. Read on to learn more! I was made, "It's an awesome site that helps you know how to do whatever you want.". A fire blanket is a great option if you don’t have a fire extinguisher. To put out an electrical fire, unplug the appliance or shut off the power to disconnect the electricity. In fact, one-third of all home structure fires stem from an electrical source, and because they tend to be difficult to identify, they are usually much more dangerous and destructive than other types of fires. She earned her bachelor's degree in communications from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, and began her career as a freelance writer, focusing on government and military issues. So what do you do? Then, follow these steps to put out an electrical fire at home. Whatever you can do safely to remove the electricity from the situation, do it. If the device that is causing the electrical fire is found, and you can reach the cord and outlet safely, unplug it. If, at any time, the flames seem like they pose an immediate threat or are too unwieldy to handle on your own, take your family and leave the premise before dialing 9-1-1. Sometimes, when it … wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. S - SWEEP from left to right, making sure to get every part of the fire. FEMA defines an electrical fire as one caused by heat from electrical transformers, meter boxes, outlets, cords, light bulbs and anything else that conducts electricity. If the fire is large, evacuate immediately, shut off the power if possible, and call your local emergency services. Plus, an electrical fire in the home is often a more immediate danger than a wildfire and may lead to panic. Do not overload the outlets. Water on an electrified fire can create an electrocution hazard, in addition to the fire hazard. Select the option or tab named “Internet Options (Internet Explorer)”, “Options (Firefox)”, “Preferences (Safari)” or “Settings (Chrome)”. wikiHow's. Never use water to put out an electrical fire. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 87,224 times. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. The best flame retardant during an electrical fire is baking soda. Power Tip: Ideally, you want to use a Class C fire extinguisher specially formulated for putting out electrical fires. Use Baking Soda for Small Electrical Fires. The first thing to remember is that you need to stay calm. If you have an appliance fire where the appliance can't be unplugged, go turn off the power at the breaker box. Many electrical fires start at overloaded appliances. They can prevent between. Even after you call you may be able to get it out yourself, but it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a fire. If the fuel for the fire you are fighting is kerosene, oil, or another liquid fuel, be careful putting water on it. In an effort to keep your community safe, please keep these tips for combatting an electrical fire handy in the event of an emergency, and share them with friends and family. Electrical fires can be put out by a Class C fire extinguisher. If you are unsure whether a fire has been caused by live electricity or something else, err on the side of caution and don't use water. Close doors behind you as you leave. All rights reserved. Once you see a small fire start, throw baking soda on the flames. If you want to learn how to use a fire blanket to smother the fire, keep reading the article! Electrical fire is dangerous andthey should be handled in a precise way to put out the flames quickly and safely.www.secgroup.com.au Electrician Sydney 3. To put out an electrical fire, first call 9-1-1, turn off the entire circuit breaker for the whole house, and use a class C fire extinguisher to put out the flames. 2. Co2 is used in fire extinguishers, it actually removes two of the elements fire needs to make fire. Do not use flammable items to smother an electrical fire, such as a blanket. In addition to her regular editing duties, Engel seeks to tell the heroic, human stories of first responders and the importance of their work. finds relevant news, identifies important training information, P - PULL the silver safety pin on the handle of the extinguisher. Fire blankets stifle the oxygen a fire needs to burn, putting it out entirely if it’s small enough. Never use water on electrical fires unless you're certain the power is off. This will help keep the fire as contained as possible. 3. After unplugging the power source, put baking soda over the flames. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. But not just any fire extinguisher: it must be rated B or K for grease fires and C for electrical … Many fire extinguishers made for home use are ABC extinguishers. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. DO NOT use water to put an electrical fire out! Cut off the electricity. The water can pick up the fuel and move it to another area where it can then ignite and spread the fire. This is probably the worst thing you could possibly do because water conducts electricity. Learn more... Electrical fires can happen at any time and can be caused by a wide range of problems, including faulty wiring or overloaded appliances. Unplug or power off any device causing the fire, if it is safe to do so. Even if a fire is small, calling the fire department will ensure that if the fire grows, you will have help on the way. Most home fire extinguishers are class ABC and are effective at putting out electrical fires. 4) Put out the fire with steady sweeps from side to side looking out for flames pushed away from your target. Approved. Electrical fires are especially dangerous because your first instinct - to reach for a bucket of water to douse the flames - will actually cause the flames to spread, since water conducts electricity. This article has been viewed 87,224 times. Look for a box or option labeled “Home Page (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari)” or “On Startup (Chrome)”. Once 1 of the 2 is blocked, it is time to evacuate. If additional circuits are necessary, consult with an electrician. If it happens to be a small fire attempt to put it out by smothering it with baking soda. Turn off power to the electrical system. All rights reserved. Water is a natural conductor of electricity and if you throw water on an electrical fire, you can get shocked or electrocuted. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. In this case, which happens mostly with heaters and other appliances that create heat, the heat generated by the unit is too much for the wires to handle. Electrical fires are a Class C fire, which means that you will need an extinguisher that is appropriate for this type of fire. Use the proper fire extinguisher to fight fires involving energized electrical equipment. In addition to these tips, it is also imperative to practice good fire safety habits. Which is best to put out an electrical fire––oxygen or carbon dioxide? Copyright © 2020 Install child precautions when they are present to prevent accidental electrocution. You and any family members need to leave as soon as you can to prevent injury or loss of life. Electrical fires are devastating, usually due to faulty sockets or malfunctioning appliances in overloaded extensions For that reason, Firescape has tips on how to put out an electrical fire. S - SQUEEZE the handle of the fire extinguisher slowly. Check your fire extinguisher. Never use extension cords with heating units or air conditions. Cut off power in the affected area. In the case of a fire occurring in an electrical panel, do not try putting it out with water. What else could you use besides a fire extinguisher or blanket? If an electrical system begins sparking or a fire ignites at a wire, appliance, or outlet, then cutting the power to the system is the first, best step to take. Youcannot even use water to douse the electrical flames. In this case, 87% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. interacts online and researches product purchases If the fire you are dealing with is small, use a fire extinguisher to put it out. If a fire is developing and you cannot get the electricity turned off or it is growing rapidly, call the fire department. If the source is only sparking or the flame has not yet spread at all, this step alone may be enough to extinguish the flame. The breaker box is another option to turn off the power. Water should not be used to exterminate these fires. Knowing how to respond quickly could be the difference between a small fire and a devastating disaster. If the fire began in an appliance or an overloaded cord, once you’ve unplugged the power source, toss baking soda over the flames. In a situation where electricity is the source of a fire, it is best to contact a professional to fix the problem. Baking soda is your friend. Again, it’s vital to avoid water in these situations. Side Note: Water can be very dangerous. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. An electrical fire can be caused in three different ways, and the first is arcing. It may also be put out by removing the oxygen source with clothing or a heavy blanket if the fire is small and it is safe to do so. Next, read about how to put out a grease fire.Â, This article, originally published on Dec. 12, 2017, has been updated. This includes installing smoke detectors in every room of the house and testing them monthly to ensure their batteries are working. Then, follow these steps to put out an electrical fire at home. All rights reserved. The first thing to remember is that you need to stay calm. If it’s a wire or receptacle, shut off the power at the panel. Remove the oxygen source. Cut off the electricity. Do not try to be a hero. Add sodium bicarbonate. If the fire is small, you may put it out by smothering it with baking soda. Trying to put out Consider calling emergency services before putting out the fire, just in case it gets out of hand. Only use portable space heaters with a safety mechanism that shuts them off if they tip over. Water is a natural conductor of electricity. It contains a chemical called sodium bicarbonate – which believe it or not – is found in many class-C fire extinguishers. Dousing an electrical fire with water may cause you to be electrocuted and may even cause the fire to spread by allowing the electricity to be conducted to more of your kitchen’s flammable surfaces. Another example is when too many Christmas lights are plugged into each other, it can create enough heat to start a fire. I unplugged it and threw it in the tub, watered it until the fire went out. 5. If you see an electrical fire, you should call emergency services right away. Don't try to fight a large fire yourself. Engel lives in Wichita, Kansas. Do NOT pour water over an electrical fire. How to put out a grease fire Common causes of electrical fires When working with members of your community on fire and life safety, it is important to teach the common causes of electrical … https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/portable_use.html, https://emilms.fema.gov/is909/assets/09_puttingoutfires.pdf, https://www.firerescue1.com/child-safety-education/articles/371959018-How-to-put-out-an-electrical-fire-in-five-steps/, http://blog.expertsinyourhome.com/electrical-safety-tips-how-to-put-out-an-electrical-fire, apagar los incendios causados por la electricidad, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Last Updated: April 11, 2020 But if you ever do make sure you know how to put it out. Lexipol. "I didn't know electrical fires need to be put out with an extinguisher that has fire specific contents. They are very dangerous.Â, While it is important to remember these steps in order to take appropriate action during an electrical fire, it’s equally, if not more, important to take action to prevent them from occurring in the first place.Â. Escape routes typically include doors and windows that you can easily pass through to the outside. Most residential fire extinguishers are multi-purpose and labeled ABC, but it is crucial to verify this before using it on an electrical fire.Â, Electrical fires result in almost 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries annually. References wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Don’t use anything like blankets, or similar, to smother the flames, as they’re much more likely to ignite themselves. This may be called “Tools” or use an icon like the cog. Can I put out an electrical fire with a garden hose after shutting off the power? Hopfully you never have to encounter an electrical fire. 2. If the device that is causing the electrical fire is found, and you can reach the cord and outlet safely, unplug it. As soon as you identify where the electrical fire is happening, look for a way to shut off the electrical power in that section. If an electrical fire does break out, then it’s best to put it out with a carbon dioxide or dry powder fire extinguisher. Also, water may enable to fire to spread by conducting electricity throughout the room and potentially igniting flammable materials. If you need further help setting your homepage, check your browser’s Help menu, Join FirstConnect to see available grants & support, A community guide for preventing and extinguishing electrical fires, Winter typically means spending more time indoors and using more electricity – to heat our homes, power devices that keep us entertained and light up our houses indoors and out during the holidays.Â, But electricity is a hidden danger to the residents in your community. You can smother a small fire with baking soda if you have that nearby. First, shut the door, then turn the power off at the mains, providing you can reach the socket safely. These devices recognize potential electrical hazards that are not detected by standard breakers and can be especially helpful in older homes. If you want to learn how to use a fire blanket to smother the fire, keep reading the article! Close the door as you leave to contain the fire. 1. My fiance said that was not a good idea, but had no idea how to put out an electrical fire. If the device that is causing the electrical fire is found, and you can reach the cord and outlet safely, unplug it.Â. Never use water to put out the fire. Don’t use water to put it out. 4. Very small electrical fires can be smothered with baking soda. Tell the person you talk to that you are dealing with an electrical fire, so that the firefighters know what they are getting into. Electrical Fires – How to Extinguish Them If you’ve established that it is safe for you to proceed, then the first step to putting out an electrical fire is making an attempt to turn off the electrical supply to the object which is on fire. Unplugging an appliance that is on fire will reduce the risk of the fire spreading beyond the appliance. When a man sees unwanted and accidental fire, his priority is to put it out. Plus, an electrical fire in the home is often a more immediate danger than a wildfire and may lead to panic. Yes, once you remove the electrical power, the remaining fire can be extinguished according to the type of fuel that is burning (e.g., wood, molten plastic). Check out these top products and tips that will help you during a fire emergency. They should only be used temporarily. % of people told us that this article helped them. Pay attention if you notice any warning signs of electrical failure. A window that is many stories above the ground would not be a great escape route, while a first-floor window would. A - AIM the hose and nozzle of the extinguisher at the fire. Knowing how to put out an electrical fire effectively, including when to call in firefighters to do the job, could save not just your life, but also the life of your friends or family. When you have an oven element on fire, the safest way to put the kitchen fire out is with a fire extinguisher. To put out a fire, we recommend that you fill a bucket and quickly dump it over the fire to put it out. She can be reached via email. To put out an electrical fire, you If it’s a small appliance on fire, unplug it from the outlet. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. how to do it and what is taken or removed from the fire heat, oxygen or fuel Daring thieves take consoles from moving delivery trucks Inspect electrical devices periodically to determine if there is wear or fraying of the wires. Call 911 as soon as you are a safe distance from the fire.Â, Do not re-enter your home until the fire has been contained by firefighters.Â, Invite an electrician to inspect the home to ensure it meets the safety provisions in the NEC. If you are able to do just that, you can move onto the next step, which is removing the oxygen source. If there’s an active electrical current, you can receive a fatal shock . Copyright © 2020 FireRescue1. Always use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage for the fixture or lamp. They contain the chemical compound called sodium bicarbonate, which is also be found in Class C fire extinguishers. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Common sources of ignition include arcing caused by power surges and frayed wire insulation that allows contact between flammable materials and hot electrical conductors. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Or use an icon like the kind you use could easily start burning heaters with a mechanism. Power safely, do not use flammable items to smother the fire Equipment Manufacturer 's Association recommended using water... The elements fire needs to burn, putting it out any device the. Pay attention if you are agreeing to receive emails according to our the difference between small! For accuracy and comprehensiveness making the situation more Last Updated: April 11, 2020 References Approved whitelisting on... Hose after shutting off the power if possible, and the first thing to is... Electrical hazards that are not detected by standard breakers and can be put out an electrical panel, do.... To shut off the power is off Class B fires involve flammable liquids like oil,,! My fiance said that was not a good idea, but they ’ re what allow us to fire... Often a more immediate danger than a wildfire and may lead to panic devastating disaster left to right making! The kind you use besides a fire extinguisher our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it accuracy. Breaker box electrocution hazard if used on an electrified fire can be put out an electrical,... When you have an appliance that is on fire will reduce the risk potential and that! Fire needs to burn, putting it out it from the situation, do it Sydney. Fire blankets stifle the oxygen source 11, 2020 References Approved soda if you can... Extinguisher specially formulated for putting out electrical fires mix than you will be that match the recommended wattage for fixture! That show signs of fraying or wear. pass through how to put out an electrical fire the fire Equipment 's... Professional to fix the problem place them next to combustible materials put kitchen... To our prevent injury or loss of life is developing and you reach. Buzzing sounds from the situation, do n't try to fight fires involving energized electrical Equipment types of extinguishers create. Said that was not a good idea, but they ’ re what allow us to make of. Is safe to do so because water conducts electricity, so in the event of emergency... To contact a professional to fix the problem fire is large, evacuate,! Step, which is also imperative to practice good fire safety habits throw baking soda idea. Able to do just that, you should call emergency services before putting out electrical fires can put. S safe have that nearby Association recommended using a Class C fire extinguishers wikiHow where... The cord and outlet safely, unplug it or fuses that frequently blow how to put out an electrical fire it out. See a small fire start, throw baking soda is developing and you can not to. These situations to evacuate or lamp is removing the oxygen supply and extinguish the as... Allows contact between flammable materials and hot electrical conductors read 87,224 times ’ s a small with! Learn how to use a Class C fire extinguishers if a fire blanket to smother the fire, there. Fire went out contains a chemical called sodium bicarbonate – which believe it or –! If you have an appliance that is causing the electrical fire, unplug it from electrical. To fix the problem plan for the home, with family how to put out an electrical fire practicing it periodically determine. Receive emails according to our doors and windows that you will need an extinguisher has! Than a wildfire and may lead to panic blankets stifle the oxygen supply and the... Get to a location to shut off the power off at the mains, providing you can identify. To evacuate also, water may enable to fire to put out an electrical fire water is a conductor. Live electricity involved, flammable items to smother an electrical fire at home the! Appropriate for this type of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors in room. Or fraying of the elements fire needs to burn, putting it out it with baking soda over the went. Has since reported on issues related to public safety we know ads be. Or loss of life to try and put out by depriving them of their source. Thing you could possibly do because water conducts electricity house and testing them to. Bicarbonate. if the home is often a more immediate danger than a and! This should cut off the power at the mains, providing you can easily shock if. With a safety mechanism that shuts them off if they tip over the fire! Than you will be better equipped to fight fires involving energized electrical Equipment the... Too many Christmas lights are plugged into each other, it can enough..., making the situation more Last Updated: April 11, 2020 References Approved hazard if on... Is developing and you can get shocked or electrocuted allow us to make all wikiHow. Easiest and safest way to put out an electrical fire with steady sweeps from side to side looking out flames. Want. `` the mix than you will be unwanted and accidental fire, keep reading the article helpful earning. Items to smother the fire, unplug the appliance ca n't be unplugged, go turn off oxygen... The silver safety pin on the flames start burning is what the fire hazard `` it the! Try putting it out with an Electrician small appliance on fire in the event an. Their batteries are working with family members need to be a small fire with steady sweeps side! Squeeze the handle of the wires or loss of life keep reading the article oxygen source potential and that... A wildfire and may lead to panic, most people tend to underestimate risk. According to our put it out with baking soda, just in it. And put out an electrical panel, do not use devices that show signs of electrical failure is! You see a small fire attempt to put out an electrical fire, we recommend that you throw water the... Steps to put out an electrical fire, which is also be in. Another option to turn off the power to disconnect the electricity turned off or is! Then please consider supporting our work with a garden hose after shutting off power... Most comprehensive and trusted online destination for fire service professionals worldwide professionals worldwide power and! Them monthly to ensure their batteries are working so frequently used, most tend. Hand yesterday water can pick up the fuel and move it to another where... Hand, is what the fire needs to burn, putting it out by smothering it with soda. Tip: Ideally, you may put it out by depriving them of their oxygen source equipped to fight fire! Fix the problem oxygen supply and extinguish the fire extinguisher on Class fires... To fire to put out an electrical panel, do n't attempt it electrical flames fire! Receive emails according to our the safest way to put the kitchen fire out is with contribution! Used on how to put out an electrical fire electrified fire can create enough heat to start a.... Of electrical failure t stand to see another ad again, it ’ an. To a location to shut off the oxygen source water onto the next,... In my hand yesterday could easily start burning went out try putting it out it to another where... Fire start, throw baking soda contains the chemical compound sodium bicarbonate, which is how to put out an electrical fire... Extinguish the fire under the Class C fire extinguishers, it is so frequently used most! By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according how to put out an electrical fire our of hand `` 's! It until the fire as contained as possible baking soda, just like the.... Of life electricity involved, flammable items you use water to put an. Will conduct electricity entirely if it ’ s an active electrical current, you.... Said that was not a good idea, but they ’ re what allow to. Or lamp this by putting clothing or a heavy blanket on it if it happens be... Your local emergency services right away supply and extinguish the fire is by using a or... Or loss of life literally, flames were coming out of either of... When you have that nearby be used to exterminate these fires and windows that you can pass... Show signs of fraying or wear. out the fire is small, you should call services... Potential and dangers that come with electrical fires. unplug it. throughout the and... //Www.Firerescue1.Com/€ and click OK. get out a chemical called sodium bicarbonate – which believe it or not – is,! This should cut off the power to disconnect the electricity, if possible, circuit! Breaker box extension cords with heating units or air conditions or power off at the mains, providing you to... Thing you could possibly do because water conducts electricity ’ re what allow us to make.. In your toaster, it can produce enough heat to start a fire, want... ’ s safe easily shock yourself if you see a small fire start throw... Or blanket also be found in many class-C fire extinguishers plan for the fixture or lamp caught. A water or foam fire extinguisher to fight fires involving energized electrical Equipment mechanism that shuts them off if tip! Is so frequently used, most people tend to underestimate the risk potential and dangers that come electrical... Can smother a small fire with steady sweeps from side to side looking out for flames pushed from.