Detecting And Dealing With An Electrical Fire At Home


Many residential fires are caused by some sort of electrical issue.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of over 47,800 house fires are caused by electrical problems.  If you house were to catch fire, knowing what type of fire it is could help you combat it long enough to get yourself and your family out of the house safely.

Identifying Electrical Fires

Probably the first indication that the source of a fire is electrical is the smell.  Electricity doesn't actually burn, but the rubber or plastic sheaths protecting the wires will create an acrid smell when the electrical lines are overheating.  If you can detect the smell prior to the insulation or drywall being burned and starting a fire, you may be able to save your home.

If you do smell something that is burning, yet you cannot find the source of the smell, call 9-1-1 and report the problem right away.  Electrical fires are hard to detect because they often start in the walls of a house where the electrical lines are hidden.  While you are waiting for the fire department, make sure that everyone gets out of the house safely and turn the circuit breakers off, if possible.

Once the fire department arrives, they will use specialized tools to search for an electrical fire.  If they detect one, the firefighters will then isolate which circuit breaker is connected to the electrical lines that have been overheating.  Once they have detected the circuit, it will be shut off and disconnected.  The next day, you will need to call an electrician to come out and repair the problem.

What to do During an Electrical Fire

You cannot put out an electrical fire with water and you can easily be shocked by trying to do so because water conducts electricity.  If you have a small electrical fire in your home, such as an extension cord or at an outlet on fire, use a multipurpose fire extinguisher to put it out.  These extinguishers are made to help fight different types of fires, including electrical fires.

However, if you see smoke coming from an outlet or a vent, there is already a fire and you need to get everyone out of the house.  Electrical fires can be unpredictable, so make sure you and your family are at a safe distance away from your house as you wait for the fire department.

To prevent electrical fires, have an electrician check your home for damage and make any necessary repairs. Companies like Advantage Electric can check your home for frayed wires, overloaded circuits, unsafe wiring, and more.  


8 September 2014

adding electric lights to your yard

How well is the outside of your home lighted? Do you have several areas around your home that become pitch black after the sun has fallen for the day? If you live in an area that does not get very much sunlight during the day, you probably have the same amount of success as I have had trying to use solar powered lights to light those dark areas. I finally broke down and contacted an electrician to help me run some power to the dark areas and install some much needed lights. He was able to give me a few suggestions that would not only brighten up my dark yard, but also look very nice from the street.