Electrical fires, if not caught early, can quickly cause serious damage to your home, potentially making it impractical or impossible to live there. It’s important to know what can cause an electrical fire, how to reduce the risks, and what to do if a fire starts.
Causes Of Electrical Fires
Heat, exposed wires, and the right material can quickly cause an electrical fire to start. Once it takes hold it will spread quickly.
The most common starting point for an electrical fire is in heating appliances and lights, these are already hot enough to melt wiring covers. Once the covers are exposed the wires can touch each other, this causes a short, potentially fusing the wires together and superheating the area. In short, if there is something flammable by the wires, it will catch fire.
Heat is a side effect of electrical current. But, it is made worse when wires are coiled and sockets are overloaded.
Getting in touch with an electrician in Sydney today is essential if you think there is any chance that your home wiring is old or overheating. This is one situation where it is definitely better to be safe rather than sorry.
Action To Take
If you are present when an electrical fire starts then you need to act quickly. This means unplugging the appliance if possible. In reality, you’re unlikely to be able to get to the socket, instead, you should shut all the power off to the house at the mains.
This will stop the issue, allowing the heat to dissipate instead of fueling the fire further.
You’ll then need to smother the flames. Don’t forget that this is an electrical fire, water is not an advisable option.
If you have a powder fire extinguisher then now is a good time to use it! Of course, it helps if you’ve had it serviced regularly.
If you don’t have an extinguisher to hand then you can smother the fire with sand or bicarbonate of soda. However, you need enough to smother the fire completely.
Top Tip: Call the fire services as soon as you discover the fire, you can always call back if you manage to put the fire out yourself.
It is also important to note that if you are unable to turn the power off the fire service is your only real option. Fire can spread along wring surprisingly quickly and start appearing at different places in the building, you need to control it quickly.
A fire that involves live electricity is especially dangerous and should be handled by the professionals.
Don’t forget, when tackling any type of fire, you need to make sure you have an exit route at all times. Your personal safety is always more important than protecting a building.
Valid escape routes are doors and large windows, that can be easily got through. Never wait too long to get out, the smoke from an electrical fire can be more deadly than the flames.