What Type Of Fire Extinguisher To Use In Electrical Fires?
by: Alex Pericleous
There are different causes of fires. Many fires happen in cooking areas where a pot is left on a lighted stove or grease gets so hot that it ignites. Some fires occur in rubbish areas where the smallest spark can catch on the debris and fire spreads. Other fires may happen from chemicals that combust.
One of the most unpredictable and widely overlooked fires is electrical. Because virtually every room in a building has some form of electricity, an electrical fire can happen anywhere.
Some of the incidents with electrical fires include:
- An older appliance that malfunctions and begins to spark or catches fire
- Electrical outlets that are overloaded and ignite
- Circuit breakers or electrical boxes that are improperly installed or not maintained
- Cords that have frayed or become worn over time
- Loose connections that can spark and ignite
- Lights or appliances that become hot and ignite nearby flammable items
- Lightning or an electrical storm can cause a surge that starts flames
- Moisture seeps into a wall outlet, causing a short that sparks a fire
- Have your location inspected by a certified electrician or a fire safety specialist
- Remove and replace malfunctioning appliances immediately
- Clear areas where electrical heat could ignite any nearby flammable materials
- Have electrical cords tested and tagged according to Australian Standards for safety
- Read more on avoiding electrical fires so that you can be properly prepared
Even with the best prevention, electrical fires can still occur. A lightning strike or an unexpected spark can ignite into flames very quickly. It is best to have a fire extinguisher on hand in order to respond to a fire as fast as possible. While it may not be practical to have an extinguisher in every room, consider placing the extinguishers in a central location that can be easily and safely reached. A fire safety professional can help you determine the ideal locations to install extinguishers for your home or your business location.
Not all fire extinguishers are designed for an electrical fire, however. An electrical fire requires a certain type of extinguisher because fires started from electricity can easily reignite or become worse if doused with water or other liquid extinguishers. Instead, look for a fire extinguisher that is specifically designed to attack electrical fires.
A Co2 fire extinguisher can work well in defeating an electrical fire. The carbon dioxide in the extinguisher will rob the air around the fire from oxygen, making it almost impossible to ignite again. This allows enough time for the electrical current to be cut off and the fire is extinguished. Some specialised rooms will have automated Co2 extinguishers to start as soon as a fire or smoke is detected. Most of these are installed with an alarm, because humans must vacate the room or they too will be deprived of oxygen and have a risk of suffocation. Hand-held Co2 extinguishers can be very useful for fires caused by electricity when they are used by properly trained personnel.
To make sure your location is protected from the dangers of electrical fires, contact the professionals at Fire Safe Services. With years of experience in fire safety products and training, Fire Safe Services can make sure you select the best fire extinguisher for your location and make sure personnel are trained on using these life saving devices. Before a surprise electrical fire strikes your home or business, consider installation of a quality fire extinguisher that is specifically designed to fight electrical fires and keep your property safe from damage, and family or employees safe from injury.