In situations where a fire extinguisher is not readily available, knowing how to effectively extinguish an electrical fire becomes crucial. You need to act first.
To extinguish an electrical fire without an extinguisher, first, turn off the power source. Never use water; instead, use a non-conductive substance like baking soda or sand to smother the flames. Alternatively, use a fire blanket to suffocate the fire.
Let’s explore different methods to put off a fire so that you are always ready to fight the fire, even if there is no extinguisher. Let’s begin.
Using Non-Conductive Substance
Using a non-conductive substance to put out an electrical fire is a safe and effective method. Non-conductive substances do not conduct electricity. It makes them suitable for suppressing these fires.
The first step in tackling an electrical fire is to cut off its power source. Locate the circuit breaker panel or the power outlet supplying electricity to the affected area. Safely switch off the circuit breaker or unplug the devices connected to the outlet.
Once the power source is disconnected, select an appropriate non-conductive substance. Baking soda is commonly available and can be used effectively. Sprinkle the baking soda directly onto the flames, focusing on the base of the fire. The baking soda will release carbon dioxide when it decomposes, suffocating the fire.
If baking soda is not available and can serve as an alternative non-conductive material. Similar to baking soda, apply the sand to the base of the fire to smother it. Sand’s granular texture helps to suppress the flames effectively.
Employing a Fire Blanket
Employing a fire blanket is another effective method to put out an electrical fire safely. Here’s how to use a fire blanket to extinguish an electrical fire:
- Locate the origin of the electrical fire and ensure the power source is disconnected to prevent re-ignition.
- Grasp the tabs or handles and gently unfurl the fire blanket while keeping yourself at a safe distance from the flames.
- Carefully place the fire blanket over the burning area. Avoid leaving any gaps for the fire to escape.
- Using gentle but firm pressure, press the blanket onto the fire to smother the flames effectively. Do not rub the blanket against the fire.
- Leave the fire blanket in position for some time after smothering the fire.
- Before removing the blanket, wait for the area to cool down.
- Even after successfully extinguishing the fire, always call for professional assistance.
Tips To Maintain While Putting Out Fire Without Extinguisher
Putting out the fire without extinguishers is challenging. Follow these tips to avoid any harm to yourself:
- Ensure personal safety and have an evacuation plan in place before attempting to extinguish the fire.
- Apply non-conductive substances directly at the base of the fire
- Never use water to extinguish an electrical fire
- Keep fire safety equipment, such as fire blankets and non-conductive substances,
- If unsure about dealing with the fire, prioritize your safety and evacuate the area immediately.
Why You Should Not Use Water
Using water when there is a fire is our common instinct. But water should be avoided when you are dealing with electrical fire. Why? Let me explain:
|Electrocution Risk||Water conducts electricity, and when applied to an electrical fire, it can create a path for the current to travel through, leading to electrocution hazards for anyone in contact with the water.|
|Explosions and Steam Generation||Water can rapidly vaporize and turn into steam when it comes into contact with hot electrical components. The sudden expansion of steam can cause explosions, further spreading the fire and posing severe safety risks.|
|Fire Intensification||Pouring water on electrical equipment or wiring can cause short circuits, leading to an increased fire intensity rather than extinguishing it.|
|Damage to Electrical Equipment||Water can cause severe damage to electrical appliances and devices, rendering them non-functional or hazardous even after the fire is out.|
|Worsening the Situation||Applying water to an electrical fire can worsen the situation, making it more challenging for professional responders to control and extinguish the fire effectively.|
|Risk of Re-Ignition||Water may not fully extinguish the fire, and when power is restored, the fire can reignite, posing a threat to those in the vicinity.|
|Environmental Hazards||Water used to extinguish electrical fires can become contaminated with hazardous substances, posing environmental concerns when it seeps into the ground or water bodies.|
|Firefighter Safety||If water is used before firefighters arrive, it can increase risks for the firefighting team, as they may unknowingly encounter live electrical hazards while trying to combat the fire.|
Knowing alternative methods to put out an electrical fire when a fire extinguisher is unavailable is crucial for ensuring safety.
By using non-conductive substances or a fire blanket and prioritizing personal well-being, one can effectively handle such emergencies and protect lives and property.