Electrical Fire Safety
So, in case you didn’t know. The only safe way to put out an electrical fire is by using a fire extinguisher. Because of this, it’s extremely important to keep and extinguisher in your home. Not any old extinguisher will do, either. Electrical fires are considered a class C fire. What does this mean? A class C fire is an energized electrical fire, meaning the fire is fed by a power source. Class C fires could begin from a short circuit, faulty wiring, power cord damage, overcharged devices, or overloaded electrical outlets.
When a fire starts in a kitchen appliance, electrical panel, stereo, computer or other such device, electricity powering the equipment acts as a continuous source of ignition for the fire. Water and water-based foams are not capable of putting out class C fires because they’re unable to counteract the constant, electrical ignition flow. Water conducts electrical currents and so using water on a Class C fire can result in a spread of the electricity.
You can purchase Class C extinguishers anywhere from big box retailers to online stores. Buy new if you can. If you have a hand-me-down, get it inspected to make sure it works properly. It’s also a good idea to either get training on using a fire extinguisher or at the very least, what a YouTube tutorial, such as this one. Hopefully you will never have to use your extinguisher, but it’s certainly good to be prepared!