Electrical fires are one of the most frightening fire scenarios a firefighter can face. Electrical fires not only have the potential to be incredibly destructive, but they also pose unique challenges for firefighters. Oftentimes, the electrical fire is above you. Regardless of your department’s policies about operating in confined spaces after an electrical fire, it’s important to understand how to put out electrical fires without an extinguisher. Read on to learn more.
What Is An Electrical Fire?
An electrical fire is a type of fire that starts when electrical equipment overheats and catches fire. Electrical fires are caused by a build-up of electrical arcing or short circuits. Some common sources of electrical fires include overloaded power strips, frayed wiring, and loose connections on plugs and outlets.
How To Put Out An Electrical Fire Without An Extinguisher?
1. Identify the Source of the Fire
Once you’ve exited the building, you’ll want to go back inside and investigate the source of the fire. Electrical fires can happen anywhere, so you’ll need to do a thorough investigation. You’ll want to look for signs of burning or melted wires, or anything that’s arcing or sparking.
2. Shut Off the Power
Once you’ve found the source of the fire, you’ll want to shut off the power to that area so that the fire doesn’t have a way to spread. Make sure you know what you’re doing, though, as you could cut off power to nearby buildings if you don’t know what you’re doing.
3. Use Extensive Water to Put Out the Fire
Once you’ve cut off the power and have the area as safe as possible, you’ll want to use a large amount of water to put out the fire. Electrical fires require a large amount of water to put out, so don’t worry about wasting water. Use as much water as you need to put out the fire.
4. Be Careful While Putting the Fire Out
While you’re putting out the fire, you’ll want to be careful not to get burned or hurt yourself in any other way. Also, make sure you don’t hit any nearby buildings or cause any other damage while putting out the fire.
5. Let Your Fire Department Know What Happened
Once the fire is out, you’ll want to let your fire department know what happened, so they can investigate the cause and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
What To Expect When Putting Out An Electrical Fire?
- When you’re putting out an electrical fire, you should be prepared to use some heavy-duty equipment.
- You’ll want to bring a large amount of water, as electrical fires require a massive amount of water to extinguish.
- You should also wear specialized firefighting gear, like heavy boots, gloves, and a full helmet with a face shield. Make sure to use a large fire hose, and make sure it’s aimed correctly.
- Electrical fires can get extremely hot, so you should make sure you’re prepared.
- You’ll want to be careful while putting out an electrical fire, as you don’t want to cause any injury to yourself or others. Also, make sure you don’t hit any nearby buildings or cause any other damage while putting out the fire.
- Electrical fires can cause a lot of damage, but they can be put out if you follow the right procedures.
Why Are Electrical Fires So Dangerous?
The Risk of Electrocution
Electrical fires often involve high-voltage equipment, which can produce dangerous amounts of electricity even if it isn’t powering anything. This means that there’s a risk of electrocution if you’re not careful. While some electrical fires can be put out with traditional equipment, you’ll need specialized gear to deal with those involving high voltage. In some cases, you may need to isolate the power before fighting the fire. This is especially true if you’re fighting a fire at a building that uses high-voltage equipment. It’s best to call an electrician to deal with the situation to avoid electrocution.
Fire & Smoke Venting
Electrical fires produce large amounts of smoke and fumes, which can be dangerous for both firefighters and civilians. These fumes are often toxic, and breathing them in can lead to serious health issues. Electrical equipment like transformers is often used for long periods of time, which can cause them to heat up and start a fire. Electrical fires can be difficult to put out due to the amount of smoke and fumes produced, which are often toxic. Electrical fires often vent the smoke and fumes upwards, which can be a hazard for firefighters and people inside the building. The best way to deal with this is to set up fans to draw the smoke out of the building and into a safe location. Electrical fires are often difficult to fight because of the equipment involved and the need to avoid electrocution. Firefighters can deal with electrical fires by closing off the area, isolating the power, and setting up fans.
Electrical Fires Can Cause Collapse
Electrical fires often occur in areas where there’s a lot of heavy electrical equipment, such as transformers and substations. These items are commonly made of metal, meaning they can overheat and start a fire. Electrical fires can cause the metal to weaken and even melt, which can, in some cases, result in a collapse. Electrical fires are often difficult to access, which means firefighters can’t easily put them out and prevent a collapse. You also can’t always tell when a collapse might happen, so electrical fires are particularly dangerous.
Tips Put Out Electrical Fires Without Extinguisher?
Keep a close eye on wiring and equipment
Electrical fires can start in a variety of ways. For example, faulty wires can short out and spark a fire, or equipment may overheat due to a lack of proper ventilation. To prevent these problems before they become emergencies, you should carefully examine your equipment and regularly replace any wiring that is worn or frayed. In addition, you should periodically check areas where wiring is present but not visible, such as behind computers or inside walls. You should also keep an eye on wiring near heavy equipment such as lifts and cranes, as they can cause sparks that can lead to an electrical fire. Electrical fires can also spread through your ventilation system, so you should regularly clean air filters to keep dust and other particles out of the air.
Install fire alarms and sprinklers
Fire alarms can alert you to the presence of a fire, but they can also help you put it out. Most fire alarms have a built-in hose that sprays water when the alarm is triggered. These devices are often found in factories where workers are at risk of being trapped in a blaze. Fire sprinklers are another excellent option for preventing and putting out electrical fires. Sprinkler systems typically use water to extinguish fires, and they can work even if the fire alarm fails. Fire alarms and sprinklers are good not only for electrical fires but also for other types of fires as well.
However, these devices are not a substitute for proper electrical safety. You should also install surge protectors on all electronic devices to reduce the risk of electrical fires caused by faulty wiring.
Use fire-resistant materials
Electrical fires can also be caused by flammable materials, such as plastic or rubber. You can reduce your risk of fire by choosing materials that are less likely to spark a blaze. If your equipment uses a lot of plastic, you could switch to materials that are less flammable, such as metal. If your work environment is particularly flammable, you may need to use fire-resistant materials. Fire-resistant fabrics and insulation are available at most hardware stores.
Train employees in fire safety protocol
Fires are often unexpected, but you can minimize their impact with regular fire drills. Fire drills also help you identify potential hazards in your work environment and correct them before they become a problem. During your drills, you should use realistic fire simulation tools to give employees hands-on experience with firefighting. You should also provide each employee with a fire safety manual that outlines all the appropriate actions to take in the event of a fire and keeps everyone on the same page.
When you think of electrical fires, you might picture a futuristic panel of flashing lights, wires, and circuits. However, today’s electrical fires are mostly triggered by a short circuit, which occurs when there is an excess of current in an electrical circuit. An electrical fire should be taken very seriously and action should be taken as quickly as possible. Electrical fires are very dangerous because they produce a lot of heat and they are often hard to see. Electrical fires can also spread to nearby materials, which can cause more damage. Electrical fires should be dealt with quickly, correctly, and safely.