Faulty or outdated appliances are a major cause of electrical fires in U.S. households, so it’s vitally important to know what to do ahead of time in case an appliance ever catches fire.
How to Safely Put Out an Electrical Fire
DO NOT use water to put an electrical fire out! This is probably the worst thing you could possibly do because water conducts electricity. 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.
If the electrical fire is too large to control:
DO NOT stay in the building. Leave at once, even before calling 911. Get everyone to evacuate as soon as possible, and do not go back inside for any reason.
Close the door of the room where the fire is behind you. This will help to contain the fire.
Call 911 once you have reached a safe distance from the fire, and wait for the fire department to extinguish it.
If the fire is small enough, you may be able to extinguish it on your own:
Carefully unplug the appliance if possible.
Use a multipurpose fire extinguisher with C in its label because electrical fires are a class C fire.
Use baking soda or a heavy blanket to smother the flames if a fire extinguisher is unavailable and the fire is small enough to control on your own.
Causes of Appliance Fires
According to the National Fire Protection Association, after fires caused by unattended equipment, the second leading cause of home fires in the U.S. from 2012-2016 were electrical failures or malfunctions.
Appliances that can catch on fire include:
- Washing machines
- Toasters / toaster ovens
- Stoves / ranges
- Space heaters
If you suspect that your home’s electrical system might be putting your property at risk of an electrical fire, it’s time to look into an electrical safety inspection.
How to Prevent Fires Caused by Electrical Appliances
Rather than simply knowing how to fight a fire, it’s always best to know how to prevent a fire in the first place! Unbeknownst to many people, a lot of appliance fires occur when there is something wrong with an appliance’s cord. Usually, the best way to prevent an electrical appliance fire is simply not to use an appliance at all if it has a damaged cord. Either replace the appliance or get its cord professionally repaired.
As another safety measure, never run an appliance’s cord underneath rugs or carpeting. This can cause the cord to overheat, increasing the risk of an electrical fire.
If you are concerned about your home’s risk for electrical fires, the best thing you can do is have All Electric Services perform an electrical safety inspection of your property. During the inspection, the electrician will examine your electrical systems and provide recommendations for how it can be made safer or simply made more efficient.
Call All Electric Services today at (407) 890-7782 or click below to schedule an electrical safety inspection in Lake Mary!