U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 47,820 reported home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction between 2007 and 2011. These fires resulted in 455 civilian deaths, 1,518 civilian injuries, and $1.5 billion in direct property damage.
It’s important to make sure you are taking the right steps to prevent electrical failure or malfunction, and Staley Electric can identify if your home’s electrical components are in optimal working condition. Here are a few common ways you may be at risk.
- Your circuits in your electrical system are overloaded
- Circuit breakers are faulty and are shorting which can fry circuits and lead to damaged electronics or possibly fire
- Switches and outlets not functioning properly (hot to the touch, spark when first in use, etc.)
It’s important to have a licensed electrician, like those at Staley Electric, who will measure the amperage being used by any given circuit in your electrical system to ensure your home is protected from an electrical fire. We can also install and repair or replace switches and outlets if you are experiencing problems with the ones in your home. GFCI and AFCI receptacles or breakers can go bad, and some fail in the “on” position. Therefore, you may not even know that you are not protected.
However, if you find yourself in a home structure fire situation, it is crucial to know what to do.
Know When To Fight And When To Flee
If you aren’t sure whether or not you should try and fight the electrical fire in your home or attempt to escape, your best bet is to get out of the house as quickly as possible. Once you get outside, call the fire department. If you think you can fight the fire, then stand your ground and do so, but don’t let the fire get between you and the exit. If you feel like the fire is going to block your exit, then you need to get out.
Never Throw Water On An Electrical Fire
Although grabbing a bucket of water may seem like your best option, this is actually one of the worst actions to take in the event of an electrical fire. Water conducts electricity, so throwing water on the fire could cause it to get even larger.
Instead, you should use your fire extinguisher. Firefighters recommend the PASS method:
Pull the fire extinguisher’s safety pin
Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire
Squeeze the extinguisher’s handle
Sweep the extinguisher’s nozzle in a side-to-side motion until the flames are out
Hopefully, you never have to use this advice. Homeowners should pay attention to any signs of electrical malfunction or failure and take proper precautionary measures to prevent electrical problems.
If you aren’t sure about your home’s electrical system or suspect that your circuits, switches, or outlets need repairing or replacing, call Staley Electric at (501) 565-3006 today, or visit us online at https://staleyelectric.com/.