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How to Extinguish an Electrical Fire

Electrical fires can happen very quickly, but at times, there are some warning signs that should be heeded.  Electrical fires can happen as a result of faulty wiring and by overloading circuits. Electrical fires can also happen as a result of appliances malfunctioning.  If you find yourself in the midst of an electrical fire, we suggest following these simple steps.

Cut the Power: If caught soon enough, simply turning off the power can extinguish the flames.  Be sure not to unplug anything at the wall to turn the power off.  Rather, go to the circuit breaker and shut off the main power.

Blanket the Fire: A fire blanket is designed to smother, thereby extinguishing flames by depriving oxygen to the fire.  Keeping a fire blanket handy is an excellent precautionary measure.

Use a Fire Extinguisher: Use a fire extinguisher that is approved for fighting electrical fires. Do not use a water fire extinguisher, as the fire will spread and could cause further damage.

Most people are aware of the strong smell associated with an electrical fire.  This smell of rubber getting hot or burning is a precursor to a fire.  If you own appliances that emit a rubbery odor when they are plugged in, it is important to discard and replace the appliance.  

The best way to avoid an electrical fire is to take precautionary measures to ensure that circuits are not overloaded and that appliances are in good repair.  Avoid using small appliances that produce a rubbery odor when they are under power.  This is a warning sign that a flame could generate quickly.

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