When it comes to fire prevention there are so many different things you can do to help ensure that a fire loss does not occur at your Lake County home or business. Electrical Failure or malfunction is a leading cause of fire year after year. Home electrical fires account for an estimated 42,210 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, 1,370 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage.
A simple way to avoid this is by following these easy and quick tips:
- Install smoke detectors on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.
- Have your home electrical system thoroughly inspected by qualified electricians to ensure that all electrical work in the home meets the safety provisions in the NEC.
- Ask a qualified electrician if your home would benefit from AFCI protection, especially during inspections of older homes or upgrades to electrical systems. These advanced new safety devices recognize dangerous conditions that are not detected by standard breakers.
- Test smoke detectors and AFCIs monthly to ensure that they are working properly.
- Establish an evacuation plan that can be used in case of an emergency, and practice with your family.
- Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the light fixture.
- In homes with young children, install tamper resistant receptacles to prevent electrical shocks and burns.
- Conduct a basic assessment of your home electrical system, electrical cords, extension cords, power plugs, and outlets.
- Look for telltale signs of electrical problems such as dim and flickering lights, unusual sizzling and buzzing sounds from your electrical system, insulation and circuit breakers that trip repeatedly. Contact a qualified electrician immediately.
- Use extension cords only temporarily, and never with space heaters or air conditioners.
- Avoid overloading outlets. Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician as needed.
In the event that an electrical fire does start, acting quickly, but knowledgeable is crucial.
Below are some fast action methods to extinguishing an electrical fire.
- If the device that is causing the electrical fire is found, and you can reach the cord and outlet safely, unplug it.
- If the fire is small, you may put it out by smothering it with baking soda.
- It may also be put out by removing the oxygen source with clothing or a heavy blanket if the fire is small and it is safe to do so.
- Don’t use water to put it out. Water is a natural conductor of electricity and if you throw water on an electrical fire, you can get shocked or electrocuted. Also, water may enable to fire to spread by conducting electricity throughout the room and potentially igniting flammable materials.
- Check your fire extinguisher. Electrical fires are class C fires, which means that you will need an extinguisher that is appropriate for this type of fire. Most residential fire extinguishers are multi-purpose and labeled ABC, but it is crucial to verify this before using it on an electrical fire.
If despite your best efforts a fire does take place in your home or office in Lake County, the trained professionals at West Coast Fire & Water are here to help you through the whole process. If your building requires board up services, storage of your items while the structure is being repaired, Cleaning of salvageable items and disposal of the severely damaged, assistance with your insurance claim, or just explaining the process we here 24 hours a day 7 days a week to get you through it all.