2 Key Facts About Electrical Fires
Did you know, fire extinguishers are not just for combustible material fires? In fact, electrical fires are extremely dangerous. Simple misuse or using the wrong extinguisher can cause uncontrollable flames. It is important to use an electrical fire extinguisher to put these flames out.
In this blog post, we will discuss 10 facts about electrical fires and how to extinguish them with a fire extinguisher.
Fact 1: The 5 Causes of an Electrical Fire
- Faulty Appliances: Electrical fires are often caused by faulty electrical appliances. Generally, these issues will arise when products are outdated. If extreme heat is being produced then surrounding combustible materials are a risk to your building.
- Electrical Heaters: During the Winter months temperatures in the office may drop. We find it difficult to please everyone with a communal aircon system and many workplaces opt for portable electric heaters. Space heaters are ideal to keep employees warm whilst working, however, other issues arise. When these heaters are placed to closely to chairs, desks and other flammable materials a fire can occur.
- Electrical Extension Cords: Advised as a temporary measure, extension cords are often misused. Indeed, male pin plugs should be directly attached to the female power outlet. Often extension cords are used for long periods of time and when overloaded can spark causing potential flames.
- Faulty Electrical Wiring: Older homes or premises will often be subject to older wiring infrastructure. Lack of power capacity can lead to overloaded sockets in this increasing electrical demand era. The demand for electricals was far less 20 years ago and we see this beginning to cause more issues as time goes on.
- Light Fixtures: Bulbs with high wattage is the leading cause of electrical fires. Materials including lamp shades or cloth can catch fire when exposed to this heat.
“Electrical fires were involved in an estimated annual average of 47,820 reported home structure fires in 2007–2011. These fires resulted in 455 civilian deaths and 1,518 civilian injuries, with $1.5 billion in direct property damage. An electrical fire is a fire involving some type of electrical failure or malfunction.” (source)
Fact 2: Fire Extinguishers Could Make Things Worse
Extinguishing an electrical fire is not that simple. Often spraying water on an electrical fire will actually make the fire worse. Luckily, most models of water fire extinguishers have been tested dielectrically. This protects those misusing these extinguishers, however, water would still be ineffective. Electrical fires must be extinguished with an electrical fire extinguisher that is specifically designed for electrical fires.
We recommend carbon dioxide fire extinguishers for electrical fires.