Electrical Safety Measures: How to Extinguish an Electrical Fire

Here at Experts In Your Home, we emphasize the importance of electrical safety practices, and we trust that you implement them diligently at home.

However, accidents can occur despite our best efforts. In the United States alone, there are close to 50,000 electrical fires each year, as reported by the National Fire Protection Association. None of these fires are intentional, which underscores the necessity of knowing how to extinguish an electrical fire should one arise in your home.

It’s essential to stay vigilant for warning signs that could precede an electrical fire, including:

  • Repeatedly tripping circuit breakers
  • Feeling shocks or tingling sensations when touching electrical appliances
  • Lights flickering unexpectedly
  • Noticing discolored electrical outlets
  • Detecting a burning smell or smoke emanating from wiring, plugs, or appliances

In the event of a potential fire, take immediate action by unplugging the appliance and cutting off power at the electrical panel. Then, contact Experts In Your Home for prompt inspection and repair.

Using Baking Soda for Small Electrical Fires

For small, contained fires such as a smoldering extension cord, you can effectively extinguish them with baking soda. Baking soda, a common kitchen ingredient, contains sodium bicarbonate, the main ingredient in Class C fire extinguishers designed for electrical fires. Baking soda generates water, which helps cool and suffocate the fire.

Avoid Water Alone

Under no circumstances should water be used to extinguish an electrical fire. Water conducts electricity and poses a significant risk of electrical shock. Refrain from instinctively reaching for water and opt for safer alternatives.

Utilize a Class C Fire Extinguisher

Instead, employ a Class C fire extinguisher specifically designed for electrical fires. Follow these steps:

  1. Pull the pin located at the top of the extinguisher while holding it upright.
  2. Direct the nozzle toward the fire’s source, if identifiable.
  3. Squeeze the extinguisher’s lever.
  4. Sweep the extinguishing substance across the fire, covering the area thoroughly.

If the fire escalates beyond control, evacuate your home immediately and dial 911 for assistance. Avoid attempting to salvage belongings and prioritize your safety outdoors until help arrives.

Once the situation is under control, enlist the expertise of a certified Chico electrician from Experts In Your Home to identify and address the electrical fire’s root cause, restoring safety to your home.

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