Electrical fires have a variety of causes; overheating and poorly ventilated appliances, electrical circuit fault, frayed or damaged wiring, wrong fuse fitted, overloaded sockets and extension leads, badly wired plugs and water ingress, to name just a few.
These can all be mitigated with a stringent PAT policy, regular visual inspections and a healthy dose of common sense. However, accidents do happen! In this article we give you potentially life saving tips for staying safe during and electrical fire:
- Raise the alarm – No matter how small the fire may seem, evacuate the premises and call 999!
- If it is safe to do so, unplug the appliance and turn off the electricity supply at the fuse box. This may stop the fire completely or slow its progress.
- If the remaining fire is small and localised and you feel confident to do so, you can tackle it with a suitable fire extinguisher, this will be dependent on what materials are burning and what materials are in the immediate vicinity find out more about fire extinguisher classes here.
- NEVER EVER USE WATER ON AN ELECTRICAL FIRE. Pouring water on live electricity will cause a (in most cases fatal) shock.
- If at any point you feel the fire is beyond your skill, close the door on the fire (this will delay the spread) and get out and stay out!
Tips for Staying Safe During an Electrical Fire
As with most things, prevention is always better than cure. Whether in commercial premises or at home a regular check of your appliances, the leads, casings, sockets and switching off appliances completely when not in use will save a lot of heart ache. There is a whole host of great electrical safety advice on the London Fire Brigade website.
Another important safety tip is to register your appliances, faulty appliances are recalled by manufacturers and this information can be used to alert you if there are potential issues with your appliances. You may want to consider registering on this site www.registermyappliance.org.uk who will make you aware of any safety repairs or product recalls.
Until Next Time… Stay Safe