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An electrical fire is very dangerous because it can cause injuries and property damage. It is important to know what to do in an emergency. Ideally, you should call your trusted electrician if you notice problems such as burnt outlets, faulty circuit breakers, or loose wiring to prevent escalation. But if an accident happens, you have no other choice but to deal with it. Here’s what you can do to put off an electrical fire. 

Turn Off the Main Power Source

The very first thing you should do is turn off the power from your fuse box or circuit breaker to stop the fire from spreading and keep things localized. An electrical fire that is left running can spread to other areas. Expect a raging fire to cause more extensive damage. However, if you kill the source, you have better chances of containing it. 

Call For Emergency Services

When you see an electrical fire, have a family member call emergency services. You need them as a backup in case things escalate. You must also call a licensed electrician to help you deal with the problem and identify the source. 

Smother the Active Fire with Baking Soda

While waiting, you can smother the flames with baking soda. Experts say baking soda may be as effective as a fire extinguisher for both electrical and grease fires. This method is handy since most homes have this common household ingredient. Sprinkle baking soda on top of the flames watch the fire die. When this compound is heated, it releases carbon dioxide into the air and produces water. Since CO2 is heavier than air and doesn’t support combustion like oxygen, it will smother the fire. Meanwhile, the water it produces will cool the fire to below the temp of ignition. 

Have a Class C Extinguisher on Stand By

A dry chemical extinguisher is ineffective for electrical fires. For this reason, it is best to always have a class C extinguisher on hand. Ensure your extinguisher is full and ready for use by having it inspected annually. You must also know how to operate so you don’t have to learn what to do when an emergency strikes. Release the safety pin and aim the nozzle at the base of the fire to arrest the flames. Do not spray it anywhere else. 

Do No Use Water

Never use water to put out an electrical fire. Remember, science class taught everyone that water is a very efficient conductor of electricity. As such, dousing an electrical fire with water escalates the situation. It can result in electric shock, and it can spread the fire a lot faster than before you intervened. 

Shut Off What Feeds Oxygen

To kill an electrical fire, you must shut off the oxygen supply that keeps fanning the flames, making it bigger. Remove all combustible materials from the fire’s vicinity and shut the doors and vents to kill the oxygen source.  

It would help to practice this ahead with your family so someone is assigned to certain tasks while another person deals with the active fire. Knowing what to do in emergencies will give you the presence of mind to eradicate the problem instead of panicking. Of course, never compromise your safety. If it looks too big to handle, wait for professionals to arrive. And if you see something wrong with your electrical system, call your electrician. Please view service locations here: Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis, Concord and Manchester .

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