Did you know electrical fires are some of the most common fires reported in the home and business every year? According to the U.S. Fire Administration, these types of fires account for nearly 25,000 fires every single year, which amounts to a little over 6% of all reported fires.
In addition to being common, an electrical fire is extremely dangerous — especially if you don’t know how to prevent them from happening and how to extinguish them once they start. Without the right tools and knowledge, an electrical fire can quickly turn into a disaster for your property.
That’s why we’re going to teach you everything you need to know when dealing with an electrical fire. As you continue reading below, you’ll learn what the main causes of an electrical fire are, common signs of an electrical fire, tips for preventing one, and how to extinguish one.
What are the Main Causes of Electrical Fires?
There are a number of ways an electrical fire can start inside your home or business. Some of the most common ways include faulty outlets, faulty appliances, light fixtures and light bulbs, improper use of extension cords, space heaters and portable heaters, and outdated wiring.
It’s reported that a majority of electrical fires occur during the winter months (especially January) and that they often start in the bedroom, attics, and crawl spaces. With that said, most of the fatalities that occur due to an electrical fire happen in the living room, den, and family rooms.
Signs Of a Potential Electrical Fire
As common as electrical fires are, a majority of them are easily preventable when the right measures are taken on a daily basis. By detecting and acknowledging the most prominent warning signs of a potential electrical fire, you can take the necessary steps to prevent it.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common warning signs before an electrical fire ignites:
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers
- Outlets that emit heat, smell bad, or are discolored
- Burning smell, but you don’t know where it’s coming from
- Damaged or old wiring
- Too many extension cords in one place
If you notice any of these warning signs of an electrical fire, it’s best to take action immediately. If you don’t, an electrical fire is imminent and you could have a potential disaster on your hands. You won’t want to have to call one of the best restoration companies Tampa has to offer.
Tips When Preventing an Electrical Fire
Now that you have a better understanding of some of the most common warning signs of a potential electrical fire, you’re going to want to understand how to better prevent these from happening in the first place. This is where you could save yourself from widespread frustration.
Let’s take a look at some of our most prominent tips and advice when preventing an electrical fire:
- Unplug heating appliances when not in-use
- Extension cords are for temporary use only
- Never cut off the third prong a power cord
- Make sure the wiring throughout your property is updated
- Repair damaged power cords immediately
- Use surge protectors instead of overloading an outlet
- Always follow the manual when using an appliance
If you want to prevent fire damage, Tampa residents should follow these safety tips at all times. There’s nothing worse than watching your valuable belongings burn in an electrical fire, which makes prevention that much more important for your home, business, family, and employees.
How to Extinguish an Electrical Fire
In the event an electrical fire starts in your home or business, don’t be a hero. If it’s too large to handle, evacuate the property immediately and contact your local fire department. If it’s small enough to contain yourself, make sure you’re extremely careful and handle it properly.
Let’s take a look at a few pieces of advice we have when containing small electrical fires in their early stages:
- Either turn off the power to the property or turn off the power of the appliance
- If it’s a small fire, smother it with baking soda
- When using a fire extinguisher, only use Class C or Class ABC extinguishers
- Before attempting to put out an electrical fire, make sure you have a clear escape plan
Although it might be your instinct, it’s very important to remember not to use water when putting out an electrical fire. In addition to potential water damage, Tampa residents can make the fire worse when using water as an extinguisher. Instead, stick with a Class C fire extinguisher.
Once the fire is contained, contact your local restoration company to help return your home or business back to its original state. Whether you’re in need of fire damage restoration or water damage repair, Tampa residents can always trust DriRite with any and all of their restoration needs!