Electrical fires result in more costly property damage than any other type of fire, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. When dealing with the most dangerous type of fire, it's best to know what do when one occurs.
How Does One Start?
The most common reasons for electrical fires are power surges and when frayed wires meet flammable materials. Unfortunately, the flammable materials end up being the wire's insulation. So even if nothing is touching the wires, a fire can still begin.
It might seem like common sense to douse a fire with water, but not when it comes to electrical fires. Since water conducts electricity you can be electrocuted during the process. Water with a live current can also cause sparks, resulting in more materials igniting.
Type C Fire Extinguisher
This special type of fire extinguisher will release carbon dioxide, robbing the fire of the oxygen that it needs to stay lit. Dry chemicals are needed for electrical fires because other types of fire extinguishers utilize water or other materials that can conduct electricity.
Main Breaker & the Fire Department
If you're having trouble putting out a small electrical fire and it's starting to spread, run to the main breaker and flip the switch. This will cut all of the electricity in your home, giving you a chance to actually fight this fire. If the fire grows to be too big, immediately leave the house and call the fire department. It's better to get out safe than to risk injury while trying to extinguish the flames.
Old and faulty wiring can easily cause electrical fires so it's best to have it inspected by Lancaster Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. To learn more, or to schedule an inspection, give us a call at (717) 207-9952.